The video opens simply — just her name across the screen. Soft country music sets the tone before fading into the image of a woman in front of the camera with a story to tell — a confessional in its own modern rite.
She begins, “Hey guys, I’m here with you today to share a story with you and it’s a very personal story…I just haven’t really shared a lot of videos because we’ve had a little bit of a tough year.
“This is my miscarriage story, which is actually two miscarriage stories, so if you’re looking for a really happy upbeat video, this is not it.”
Jasmine Nicoson posted the YouTube video, “My Miscarriage Story,” back in 2015.
Since then, the 32-year-old Brenham native has given birth to three boys, is happily married to Christopher — an elite soldier in the U.S. Army, all while providing for her family and vying for the cover of Maxim magazine — an outlet to share her story of heartbreak, hope, survival and sacrifice, empowering young women and mothers to recognize their beauty and inner strength.
Nicoson was born and raised in Brenham — a self-professed troublemaker for talking in class or being too loud. It’s a trait that would eventually allow her to provide for her family through the video website YouTube.
“It’s pretty ironic that my social skills and talkative behavior has now turned into an income for my family,” she told The Banner-Press. “I am a mom of three young boys ages 7, 2 and 10-months old and my husband is often away on deployments or training. I am very proud to say that he has bravely served many years of combat and is an elite soldier in the United States Army.”
“It’s important for me to be able to provide for my family while holding down the home front and being an active caregiver for my children. YouTube has provided this opportunity for us and I am so proud of how far my channel has come over the years.”
The site has not only been a means of income for Nicoson, but it’s also served as an outlet for her to share her journey — the beautiful, happy moments alongside vulnerability and struggle — with a global audience.
After graduating from Brenham High School in 2005, she married her husband in 2011. Shortly after the wedding, Nicoson became pregnant with her first son.
While her husband was serving in Afghanistan, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Jackson. The reunion, of course, was caught on video and posted to YouTube.
A crowd is gathered in military fanfare as a group of soldiers in fatigues enter in formation, some in wheelchairs.
Nicoson screams her husband’s name from the crowd before the national anthem plays. She bounces the newborn in her arm. They finally embrace and Christopher takes his son into his arms for the first time, Jackson’s bright blue eyes twinkling.
The video has garnered more than 5.3 million views on YouTube — the same site where she found herself searching for solidarity after she and Christopher’s first miscarriage — a loss often suffered in silence.
“It has always been really important to me to be transparent when talking about my multiple pregnancy losses. Talking about miscarriages is hard, but I want women to know they are not alone,” Nicoson said, explaining how after that first experience, her instinct was to search online for other stories like hers.
“When I had my first miscarriage, I was extremely heartbroken, as anyone could imagine. I wanted to hear if what was happening to me was normal. I wanted to know I wasn’t the only person that had ever felt that pain.
“I also wanted to hear stories of hope, stories of survival. I found a lot of comfort in watching women tell their stories. They were different women from different backgrounds all over the world.”
After suffering a second devastating loss, she decided it was time to find her own voice and offer solace to other women searching for answers just as she was.
“It was raw, unedited and real. I don’t think I have ever actually watched it myself because I don’t want to relive those moments. Thousands of people have watched that video and I hope that it has brought comfort to someone somewhere,” Nicoson said.
She and her husband, who was often away on active duty, suffered two more miscarriages.
“That was a total of four of our children that went to heaven before we even had a chance to meet them,” she said, explaining that after meeting with an infertility specialist, the couple discovered that Nicoson had a gene mutation, MTHFR, that can cause miscarriages among other ailments. They developed a plan and she started taking medication in order to help her body sustain the pregnancy.
“It worked!” Nicoson said.
After the four devastating losses, their “Rainbow Baby,” River, arrived in December of 2016. Christopher was deployed to Afghanistan again when River was only 20 days old (there’s a video of that homecoming, too).
Then the couple became pregnant with their youngest son Logan right before Christopher left for yet another deployment and came home just a few weeks before his third son’s arrival.
“Military families make a lot of sacrifices. The spouses that I know personally are some of the most resilient people I have ever met. They work hard 24/7. They are faithful to their husbands and don’t ‘give up’ easily,” Nicoson said. “They throw Christmas parties, they raise money for charities, they take care of their children with disabilities, they help others out when they are struggling.
“They care for their husbands with PTSD, brain injuries, and/or physical injuries from this 18-year-long war. Frankly, military spouses are badasses. Military spouses don’t serve our country; they serve their families, communities and friends and they are damn good at doing so.”
Now, as a mother of three young boys, Nicoson is embarking on her latest venture to spread a message of empowerment by entering into a competition to be on the cover of Maxim.
There are several rounds of voting to narrow down the competition, with the winner chosen by the public. Currently, in the fourth round, she is ranked second in her category.
And while there are plenty of naysayers who may disapprove of her endeavor, Nicoson is steadfast in her motivations and embodies strength and confidence in sharing her story.
“The reason I am in this competition is not just to be on the cover of Maxim magazine. I am hoping to use this as an outlet to share my story and empower other women to do the same,” the young mother said.
“There will be naysayers and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am proud of how far I have come. I’m proud to share my story. I am a confident, strong woman and I love my body. Why not?
“My message to all women is, “Life is short. Go out there and live your dream. Share your story. What you have to say is important. You are beautiful and your voice is, too!’”
Nicoson also noted how winning the competition would open doors for her and her family that were previously closed.
“If I won this competition, I would take my husband on the honeymoon that we were never able to take. He supports me in this competition and in all my endeavors. He’s such a hardworking man and he deserves a vacation. It doesn’t really matter where we go, as long as we can spend that one-on-one time together.”
The remainder of the money, she said, will be donated to the Green Beret Foundation and then split between her children — her “biggest blessing!”
So far, she has raised more than $1,200 in the competition for charity. If you would like to make a donation to Jarred Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, place a “Warrior Vote” ($1 equals one vote).
If you’d like to support Nicoson in the Maxim Cover Girl Competition, individuals can vote for free once a day by visiting https://maximcovergirl.com/2019/jasmine-nicoson.
To hear more of Nicoson’s story, visit www.YouTube.com/jasminenicoson.