From left to right – Talia Sandys, Treasurer; Nicole Fagerstrom, Secretary; Molly Henke, Vice President; Nina Pleshe, Founder/President.
I am a mama to 4 littles earthside, ranging from 3 to 10. My oldest is a boy, followed by 3 sweet girls. I married my high school sweetheart and we live in Hibbing. I am also a Registered Nurse, keeping my license active but stepped away from that career during this busy life season. I owned and ran my own boutique for 8+ years, Nina Brooke. I closed during Covid and rebranded. I am now getting to focus on photography am absolutely loving it! Life has been incredibly full.
In February of 2021 I experienced a 10 week missed miscarriage. We had just told our kids about baby on Valentine’s Day, and listened to the heartbeat all together on a home doppler just after 9 weeks. That has become one of my sweetest memories. I had had trouble finding baby’s heartbeat after that, and felt a decrease in my nausea. I was worried when I went into my 10 week appointment but I had no other symptoms of loss or miscarriage. I didn’t even really fully realize what a missed miscarriage was. The heartbreaking news was confirmed as I lay there alone on the ultrasound table. I walked through very painful moments over the next weeks and months. You can read my full story on our website tab labeled stories.
That experience really affected me deeply. I had a few friends/family bring my gifts/items in memory after my loss. I had family/friends I could call when my head was spinning. I had my nursing knowledge to try to grasp at my options and make a well rounded decision. Once I left the fog of my heartbreak it just really weighed on my heart how much is lacking in our care around miscarriage. Support groups, a gift in memory, a helping hand to guide through the pain. It was then that I knew I wanted to start a nonprofit to help women who miscarriage, suffer stillbirth, child loss, and so many experiences in between. An amazing group of women came together as I opened up for a board and we really want to make an impact on those going through these heartbreaking experiences and life changing losses.
I was born and raised in Hibbing and moved back after 10 years of being away – I spent that time going to school for Dietetics in North Dakota, then living in Italy where I obtained a Master in Food Culture and Communications. I have lived in many different places in the US and spent time finding myself, learning about the world, building up my independence and strength. I knew when it was time to start settling down and thinking about a family that I needed to be back home where my family is. I am very grateful to be able to start a family in the place that made me who I am. I met my husband in Hibbing and had one non-negotiable: I want to raise a family here.
In our first year of marriage, we endured two miscarriages. I took it very hard and often blamed myself. Then, God blessed us with Mia. She is our greatest blessing. We knew we wanted her to have a sibling, but again, suffered two more miscarriages. But then miraculously, God blessed us again, and we have a baby due in February 2023.
My mission is to always support women in pregnancy. When I worked in WIC, I was fulfilled knowing I was supporting and caring for an extremely vulnerable and fragile part of life – pregnancy. I’ve always wanted to show support and love to Moms – I had an amazing example of what a loving Mom looks like in my own mother, and I have always wanted to give back and show my thanksgiving.
When a woman becomes pregnant, she changes. She is never the same. She now is responsible for another life, and innately will do anything to protect that life. When that is taken away from her, it’s devastating. Sometimes there is an answer, and sometimes there isn’t, but no matter what, she needs support. She needs to know she’s not alone. After going through it myself, I feel very strongly in wanting to show my love and care for every woman who is suffering a loss. That’s why I’m here. I’m grateful to join these women in our mission, and I am always here for anyone who needs it.
Like many of you, I’m lucky to be called a daughter, sister, colleague, friend and wife – but a huge part of my life is being a mom.
My husband and I are both originally from Hibbing and moved back to the area about ten years ago. We are happy to now call Side Lake our home. My educational background is marketing and communications degrees from UMD and a masters in business from St. Cloud State. After running a family business, I currently work for a local nonprofit in communications and run my own consulting business.
We have three children, one of whom passed away a few days after birth in June of 2016. Our daughter, Gracie, was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 when I was about 34 weeks pregnant. This news was completely devastating as her diagnosis was deemed incompatible with life. The remaining six weeks were filled with many emotions, difficult conversations and sleepless nights. I carried her until full term and we were able to spend almost five days together in the hospital. One of our nurses from Fairview started Gracie’s Bears – an extremely meaningful program that gives weighted teddy bears to families that lose a child. The nurses fill them to be the exact weight of your baby so you don’t leave the hospital empty-handed. I am so honored that it has continued to this day.
In the time that has passed, I am constantly looking for ways to remember and memorialize our daughter. At least 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage or loss and after speaking with other mothers we agreed that it helps to share our stories. Our hope for Light After Loss is to give mothers and families support, resources, and a sense of community during one of the most difficult times of their lives. If you have also lost a child – I am so sorry. Please know you are not alone and we are here to help in any way that we can.
I am a wife, sister, daughter, and mom to an angel baby named Calvin. I married my husband, Kyle, five years ago and we currently live in Chisholm, MN with our rescue dog Baloo. I am a Hibbing High School graduate (2013) and hold Bachelor’s Degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education along with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. I currently teach special education at the Lincoln Elementary School in Hibbing.
In February of 2022 my husband and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting a sweet baby in November. We had gone to many appointments, ultrasounds, and received positive news with genetic testing results. However, in July at our 20-week anatomy scan, we found out the devastating news that our son had a lethal fetal anomaly, Thanatophoric Dysplasia, and would not survive after birth. On July 14, 2022, I was induced and delivered our baby boy who we named Calvin. You can read my full story on under our tab titled stories.
Since then, I have been trying to figure out what life is supposed to be without Calvin. Although I only got to be with my baby for 22 weeks, I am still grieving the love and dreams that I had for his lifetime. Grief is hard, but having a support system has given me the power to move forward. Our hope for Light After Loss is to provide support to those who have lost, with hopes that they can move forward, but still remember the life they lost.