Small footprints leave big imprint on families worldwide

Nicole Nyberg of Bloomington remembers her children every day—not just on October 15, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Nyberg had an easy first trimester but things changed when she entered her second. William, now 3 ½ was delivered at 23 weeks and spent 91 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her “miracle” baby loves trucks, tractors and reading books.

Although they were apprehensive about future pregnancies, Nyberg received the green light to move forward with planning for more children. She conceived again sailing through her first trimester without any concerns.

“It was at exactly the same weeks of gestation that I started having trouble with William’s pregnancy,” she said. But sadly, after numerous interventions, they lost Weston at 14 weeks in January of 2016.

Nyberg experienced a second miscarriage in August of 2016 following a surprising but optimistic pregnancy. A strong heartbeat at six weeks indicated hope but two weeks later they were given the news that their baby did not survive. 

“The ‘what ifs?’, and ‘what would they be like’ are the worst. You just don’t feel whole and part of me is missing,” she said. “We say prayers every night and always include Weston and the Baby.”

Nyberg’s two other living children, stepdaughter Reece, 11, and son William acknowledge their missing siblings in other ways, like hanging stockings for them at the holidays and honoring them at the March of Dimes walk. William says they even “sleep” with him as reminder they are present in his world.

Last year, Nyberg remembered her children at the Shining Light Memorial, joining others around the world to remember babies lost during pregnancy or in infancy. Carle invites anyone impacted in this way to a candlelight ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 15 to honor the memory of the precious babies who are no longer with us physically, but will forever be in our hearts. A pathway of luminaries will wind through the Memorial Garden.

“Too many families grieve in silence,” said Linda Ellison, bereavement coordinator. “The ceremony gives families a place to remember their child and provides community so they know they aren’t alone in their grief.”

The loss of a baby, no matter when or how, is profound.

Time, faith and open communication have helped the Nybergs.

“Loss can be very isolating. I know so many others have gone through something similar. I talk about my losses so others know they aren’t alone and to remember and honor my babies,” Nyberg said.

Awareness. Time. Reflection. The October 15 ceremony provides these moments even if families aren’t physically present.

“Minds and hearts grieve in different ways, and we understand that some may not be ready or able to attend the memorial, so they are able to participate at a distance by submitting their babies' names online,” Ellison said.

Regardless of when and where the loss occurred, all are welcome to have a luminary. Simply provide your baby's first name, and organizers will create a luminary with his or her name in their honor.

For more information, please call Ellison at (217) 326-3196.