I am 12 weeks! Baby is the size of plum/lime, and I’m celebrating milestones that I am reaching for the first time. And, I just happen to always reach milestones on important days! We reached 12 weeks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. What a blessing. MLK taught me the importance of using my voice, knowing my worth, and believing in my own wisdom.

The first trimester has been a breeze physically, and I have learned to embrace the mild symptoms knowing that it’s still a blessing even when it can be a trigger. My main symptoms right now are round ligament pain and cramps. Having these symptoms gives me reassurance that everything is going well and I must believe that baby is growing just nicely.

Now, let’s talk about my bump.

I am not sure if it’s actually one yet, but I am embracing it in my own way. I am seen as plus-sized, so my stomach has always been big. It’s not a defined bump yet, even if it may “appear” to be. I am trying to embrace every part of my body, understanding that my body is doing great things.

Jasmine's 12-week bump: Choosing to hold on to faith and hope

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

Also, for years people may have thought I looked pregnant due to my belly fat. Either way, this is something that I have prayed and hoped about for so long. I deserve to take a picture with my belly knowing that my baby is growing inside of me.

Baby Beanie, you are so loved. You are a little warrior! Thank you for bringing mommy and daddy happiness and hope in the midst of all of the struggles and trials. You are fighting hard too to be here with us in our arms and you are so amazing, little one.

I keep reminding myself that even if anxiety will always be present, I deserve to be a mother. I have fought hard to be where I am right now! I have gone through so much pain with previous losses and failed rounds of fertility treatments.

God answered our prayers, and I will be forever thankful for Him giving me strength and guiding me to believe this is my time. I don’t want to live this entire pregnancy in fear, so I’m facing it head-on daily and not pushing it away. Living with PTSD is hard, but this has given me acceptance and clarity. For example, I acknowledge the emotions, use positive affirmations, and talking about my feelings. I have realized that I must try to let go as much as I can because I truly do not have control of what is going on in my body. But, I can choose to hold on to faith and hope.

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