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Surrender in the Stillness — Zoe Price

As I reflect on the past, I am truly in awe of how the Lord does indeed know what is best for us. There were lots of times I had the question of, “Why,” but even in those moments of questioning, my heart clung to the fact that the Lord is faithful to see us grow and become more like Him in the midst of heartache and trials. 

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We are both “planners,” and, when we got married, we thought we had our lives all planned out. We would live in Idaho where I grew up, we would start trying to have children after being married for two years and live happily ever after. Little did we know that we would end up in Florida after just one year of marriage, and it would take years for us to have children only through IVF (in-vitro fertilization). 

In 2016, I got the baby fever and was very excited to start a family; we both were. All of our dear friends were starting to get pregnant, and we attend a church that is often called the ‘Genesis Project’ because there are so many children born every year. It is such a blessing! For the women in the church who long to have their own babies, it can often become hard to see everyone else have a baby and not yourself. I had to battle those emotions daily and learn to truly rejoice with others and not have self pity. I can say that the Lord did not leave me in a place to lay in my sorrow in the time of waiting while others around me rejoiced. I learned that just because the Lord had not given me a child of my own, I could still go to baby showers, hold friends’ newborns, and genuinely be happy for them because the Lord taught me how to be content with whatever He had for us. We took advantage of the special time of it just being us in the season of waiting and knew no matter if we had children or not that we would still be together, what a gift marriage is!

After about 6 months of trying to get pregnant I randomly went into an OBGYN that I had been seeing because I had some severe pain. The pain ended up being nothing but in God’s providence the ultrasound tech found that I had what was called a Uterine Septum; basically a small wall in the middle of your uterus. It is very common and fixable, and often most women do not even know they have it unless it’s a severe case! A nurse from the office called me to tell me what was found, but she ended up being very insensitive and told me, “You may never have kids, and if you get pregnant you will probably have a miscarriage. We will refer you to an IVF doctor that can maybe help with the septum.” 

Shocked is an understatement. I remember calling my husband right after that phone call and crying. We both sat in limbo for a week thinking that we may never have our own biological children and had to wrestle with choosing to believe the Lord is still good. Once again, God knew what was best for us and we had to be content with the idea that biological children may not be in the cards for us. The IVF clinic we were referred to, and specifically the doctor we got referred to, was great which was so gracious of the Lord. The doctor was kind and compassionate. He never guaranteed that we would have our own children, but gave us counsel that I could get the septum removed and was hopeful that by removing it we would be able to get pregnant naturally. So, that’s what we did. I had a small surgery and got it removed and we kept trying for 6 more months like the doctor recommended. 

We still weren’t pregnant. We began running some basic blood tests to see if there was an easy “fix,” and all came back good for my body which was a praise. But we found out that my husband’s count was pretty low. Our doctor told us we could try doing an IUI (intrauterine insemination), which was a much cheaper route than jumping into IVF – and much more natural. We did just one round and it did not work. Still in the season of waiting, the Lord kept working on both of our hearts. We learned over and over again that we have no control, and that having children is not promised. We had to keep renewing our minds in truth and meditating on God’s character. 

After our IUI failed, our doctor told us he didn’t want to waste our time because it most likely would not work if we did it again. We were both thankful for his honesty as it saved us from more heartache, wacky hormones, and more money. We were recommended IVF, but we did not know a lot about it. Over the next six months we started to explore adoption and also sought counsel from our pastor about doing IVF. There are a lot of issues that can happen in IVF that are wrong so we wanted to be very careful and wise. Our desire, if we went down that road, was to be faithful to each soul that would, Lord willing, be created through the IVF process. After exploring both options, I really wanted to try to carry my own child, and we agreed we would do just one round of IVF and if the Lord chose to shut the door on that then we would try to adopt. 

In April of 2019 we did our one egg retrieval. We decided we would try to get 7 embryos, knowing that if all 7 eggs did fertilize and make it to be able to be frozen we would use every single one. We were told that the odds of all 7 eggs fertilizing to become embryos (or souls) and making it to freeze was about a 30-40% chance. God had much bigger plans that we would have ever thought and seemed to go above and beyond what we had prayed for. We found out that out of the 7 eggs, 6 eggs were fertilized and ALL 6 did make it to be frozen. We were both completely shocked. Looking back at this news, I always marvel at the Lord’s kindness and care. He cares so deeply for each of those souls and it’s amazing how you can love those little frozen embryos so much because you understand that only God could intricately design each little one and that He has a plan for each of them. 

June of 2019 we transferred our first embryo and for the first time in 3 years we were pregnant. We had been very open with our friends and family about IVF and had countless people praying for this little soul. I had a relatively easy pregnancy and gave birth via c-section three weeks early in February of 2020 to our first little boy, Riggins. Sleepless nights did not matter because we had waited so long to hold a child. We prayed for him for so long and the Lord was so kind to open my womb. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The Lord’s loving kindness indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness.”

A year later, in February 2021, we transferred our second embryo and once again the Lord opened my womb to another little boy, Rhett, who was born in October 2021 via another c-section. Our prayers had again been answered and we rejoiced! Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” With both of our first two transfers we learned that either outcome was a good thing (our child would be with the Lord, or we would give birth). We would rejoice no matter how long that little soul got to live in my womb, whether it was hours, days, or if we would get to meet them one day. We shouted it from the rooftops right when we found out we were pregnant because life is a miracle! 

Because we had been entrusted with six embryos, we wanted to be good stewards and not prolong the process of trying to use each one, as long as my body was still healthy and strong. That being said, we began the process for our third transfer in late October/early November of 2022. Just before starting this process I attended a women’s conference at our church and the speaker taught on Psalm 16 and how to respond when things may not go your way. Little did I know that this Psalm and lesson would become very practical to me in the coming months. 

I was excited to try again and hopeful that it would work again, but for some reason felt more hesitant. I questioned in my own heart, “Would the Lord really let another one of these embryos stick around? Could we really have three successful transfers in a row?” But He saw fit to open my womb again right before Thanksgiving 2023. All seemed well and we rejoiced each day for this baby. 

We found out at 14 weeks that our little baby was another boy. I never imagined being a “boy mom,” but was thrilled. We named him Colt Michael around 15 weeks on our way to Texas for a 3 week long work trip. At 17 weeks on the dot I felt this little baby kick for the first time just as my first two babies did. This was the first and last time I felt this baby. While in Texas, I had an at-home doppler that I used but couldn’t find the heartbeat right away. I knew I wasn’t a doctor and also knew 17 weeks is still early. So I tried again later that day and thought I found the heartbeat, but looking back it was just the placenta. It was grace from the Lord that I thought I had heard the heartbeat because we were miles away from home and still had to drive home after being away for three weeks. 

We got home from our work trip, and I had my routine check up at 19 weeks and 6 days. I remember getting up early that morning to be in God’s Word and for some reason I opened up to Psalm 27:13, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I went on my way, alone, to the appointment because it was just routine and we had no reason to think something was wrong.

While I was in there my doctor asked how things were going and I told her that I had felt Colt kick about two weeks prior but wondered if my placenta was on a different side this time because I hadn’t felt him again. She did not seem worried and got the doppler out. After one or two minutes of not finding the heartbeat right away, she had us go over to the ultrasound room and reassured me that the baby still can hide a bit at this stage. I knew something was wrong and texted my husband and two of my best friends to let them know what was happening and ask for prayer. 

I saw my baby on the ultrasound screen lifeless. The little boy who had been bouncing around five weeks prior was completely still, and I knew. It was quite shocking, and I just remember telling the doctor and myself, “It’s okay,” because it was. I knew that my little boy was in the arms of Christ. Yes, I was sobbing and my heart ached knowing I would not get to meet him on this earth and all we had looked forward to was now gone, but there is something very comforting knowing that the Lord chose to take our baby for Himself, and we are promised that if we are in Christ we will meet that child one day. My mind went back instantly to what I had read before my appointment, Psalm 27. 

The next hours were a bit of a blur. My husband came straight to the doctor where we talked with the doctor about next steps because I was in the second trimester. Because our baby had passed early enough I would not have to give birth, but would need to have a D and E, a procedure a little more complicated than a normal D and C. What I did not know is that my doctor was not trained to do this particular procedure and because of some new laws, a lot of doctors won’t perform this procedure if you are far enough along. Still to this day I don’t understand it all, but at the time we just accepted this is what the Lord would have for us. We were told we would have to go to a surgery clinic and I was thankful because the thought of having a lifeless baby inside of me was awful. It was even more awful knowing that clearly my body didn’t recognize the baby had died because it had been holding on to it for over two weeks. 

When I called that afternoon to get into this clinic I found out it was an abortion clinic. I was gutted. But I went ahead and scheduled it because my doctor said the doctor that was there was good and the nurses were very compassionate. Even though I scheduled it, I started calling around to try to go anywhere but there. No one would take me, and if they did consider taking me on as a patient it was going to be a week or more of waiting which I did not want to do because I did not want to go into labor or get an infection.

The next day my husband and I headed down to the clinic and even though I was very emotional and still in shock that I had lost my child, I was determined to be a light for Christ in the midst of darkness. I was told on the phone that I’d have to go in alone due to Covid, and at the time we were under the assumption it would be a quick pre-op visit because typically you have to go there once before you can have a procedure two days after. I was terrified, but I got out of the car at this building with the mindset I would pray for every woman that would step in there and would try to share the gospel if given an opportunity. I was grieving, but not without hope. I sat in the waiting room and saw probably about 60 or more different women come in and out. I still remember a handful of faces, some acted like nothing was out of the normal and some looked solemn and sad. Here I was, sitting there crying over a life that had been prayed for and wanted, while most of these women came in to kill their babies. It was horrifying. 

Even though I was physically very alone since my husband was not allowed in the building at all, I have never felt the nearness of God like I did before that day. Verses and hymns flooded my mind that I didn’t even know I knew. It was hard, but the Lord never left my side. Thankfully the nurses were very compassionate like my doctor said they would be, but it was very wild to me that they could be so kind and take particularly good care of me while working in such an evil place. I prayed for each nurse. I shared that I had hope (with as much as my crying mouth could get out). I talked to one lady who came in for an abortion and prayed for her silently as she went back for her first visit. I grieved for my dead baby, but also all of the other babies who were still living inside the women who sat in the waiting room. 

By God’s grace, the clinic allowed me to do pre-op and get the procedure all in one day. I’m not sure how I would have had the courage to go back a second time after being in there once. I ended up being there from 8am-5pm with no water, nothing to eat, and relatively no contact with my husband because the place was pretty locked down due to all their rules and regulations. I witnessed many young girls and women my age or even a few years older go in and out of the operating room completely out of it. It broke my heart every single time I saw it as I waited for my turn to go back. I had to keep reminding myself that my baby was already gone, I was not there to kill him. Satan is so crafty. As I watched all of these women while navigating my own feelings and emotions, I read my Bible, I prayed, and I wept. But not without hope. I had a whole day to think, process and meditate on the goodness of God. I knew I had a choice to believe He was still good and cling to truth, my husband, and the church. 

My lifeless baby was taken out of me and it was awful, but by my best friend’s advice I asked the doctor for a footprint or handprint of Colt. I am so thankful for that and still marvel at how amazing it is that the Lord can knit a baby together. This is a treasure I will always hold on to. I ended up being one of the last patients that day due to some complications and as one of the nurses walked me out to my car to meet my husband she said, “You have been the nicest patient we have ever had.” To God be the glory! If I made an impact on just one lady whether a patient or a nurse and caused them to think about Christ, then it is all worth it!

March 8th and 9th, 2023 were some of the hardest days of my life but the nearness of God in those days and the days, weeks, months following was, and is, truly amazing. We chose a verse for Colt before we ever got pregnant with him, “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:1-3. What I did not read or think about until after we lost him was the end of that Psalm, verse 4-5, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks for Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His Lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” How comforting it is to know that my child entered His courts with praise and never experienced the pain of this world. We will never know why Colt died or what was wrong with him, but we know that the Lord does ALL things for His good and to bring Himself glory. I pray that our response to losing this life honors the Lord and am reminded that the Lord does not withhold good gifts to us. 

My heart ached, and it still does. But the Lord was kind and His church served us well and came alongside us in ways I never would have thought of. Friends who had experienced loss reached out and loved us well. Our marriage deepened as we grieved and I truly believe the years of waiting for a child prepared us for this in a way. We never thought we would have any children, so to have two healthy boys and to get pregnant a third time is a gift, and those children are the Lords. My love for my two living children only grew because the reality of death sharpens your focus on what is important. Psalm 139 was near and dear to my heart and still is. It is such a great reminder of God’s care for us, not just for my babies. I read the devotional, Held by Abbey Wedgeworth, and it was a great encouragement to my heart.

We still had 3 more embryos to use, and we still longed for another baby. We prayed and saved our money and made sure my body was healthy over the next few months. We transferred our fourth embryo July 5th, 2023. We held the results very loosely again, and, for me, I had much more fear with the thought of being pregnant that I knew I would need to constantly surrender to the Lord if indeed we got pregnant again. Our verse we chose for this embryo was Psalm 143:5-6 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul longs for You, as a parched land.” The Lord had seen us through so much and had been faithful to us in years past, so we knew he would not leave us now no matter the outcome of this transfer and potential pregnancy. 

He saw fit to open my womb for a fourth time, and in the IVF world, four successful transfers in a row is not super common. We found out we were pregnant with another little boy, Rocky Thomas Price. He joined our family March 1, 2024. Almost a year to the date that our Colt went to be with the Lord. How kind of our God. He saw us through the entire pregnancy when my heart feared and was reminded daily to take my thoughts captive, and he allowed us to rejoice daily even when there was some fear of losing a baby again. How great is thy faithfulness. 

We pray for our remaining two embryos and think of them daily and look forward to giving them an opportunity at life and trust that the Lord will take care of them however He sees fit. We pray that the Lord would do what is best for our family and that we would be good stewards of all that He has given us. I often remind myself that the Lord has gone above and beyond our prayers and cares for us and our babies more than we could imagine.

What Scripture did you cling to on the hardest days and nights?

Psalm 27:13
Psalm 139
James 1:17
Psalm 16
The book Held by Abbey Wedgeworth was very impactful on looking deeply at Psalm 139 and miscarriages. I would recommend it to any woman who loses a baby.

What hymns or songs comforted you?

You Know Everything – Shane and Shane/Kingdom Kids
Holy – 1 Samuel 2:2 – Shane and Shane/Kingdom Kids
Your Ways – Shane and Shane/Kingdom Kids
Jesus, Strong and Kind – CityAlight
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus – Casting Crowns
You Already Know- JJ Heller
You’ve Already Won – Shane and Shane
Psalm 100 – The Corner Room

What did people do that ministered to you?

  • Friends bringing us meals was practically very helpful as I recovered physically and emotionally. 
  • The most thoughtful gift was from a big group of friends that had got us a few special books, a gift card for my husband and I to go on a date, a very meaningful watercolor painting of one of our ultrasounds of our baby, and lastly a pretty big monetary gift to cover my procedure because the clinic we had to go to does not accept insurance and it was a shock to pay so much there. It was very thoughtful and left us both speechless. 
  • One of my best friends got me a ring with Colt’s name on it to match my other rings with my other kids’ names on it. It felt like things like that validated that he was a human and loved. 
  • Friends and family that listened and checked in to see how I was doing in weeks after was very kind.
  • Friends and family who took my older kids for a few hours in the days following was also very helpful so I could process everything on my own.

What should people NOT say or do in a similar circumstance?

I think that hardest thing for me was when friends wouldn’t talk about what happened. Or even acknowledge it. I am sure they did not know what to say, and there is not much they could say but say something like, “I am happy to talk about it if you want or we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want” would be helpful, otherwise I felt like I was sitting there with this elephant in the room because my life was just turned upside down but not acknowledged. I know some ladies do not want to talk about it, but some do, and it can be helpful. 

What hope has Jesus given you in your trial?

  • The hope that the Lord won’t leave you nor forsake you is true. He does all things for our good, even if it doesn’t make sense to us and is not what we would choose. He reminds me that he is faithful and won’t withhold good things from us. Colt is the one child (as of now since my others are still young) that I know I will get to spend eternity with and that brings so much hope!
  • Also, remembering that each trial is tailor made for us! God thought that infertility and losing a baby when we did was the best thing for us, and how can I argue with the God of the universe? He knows what is best and we can trust Him.

How has Hope in the Mourning encouraged you in your grief journey?

Reading each story in Hope in the Mourning has helped me see that suffering or trials is truly never for nothing. These stories spur me on to pray I may have faith and perseverance like the different authors and reminds me no one is exempt from different trials in life but we can choose to respond in a way that honors Christ and gives Him glory. 

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