After six years of loss, couple adds daughter; still plans to adopt

David and Jamie Price are celebrating their first Mother's Day with Sophia Grace, a miracle that's been more than six years in the making. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

David and Jamie Price are celebrating their first Mother’s Day with Sophia Grace, a miracle that’s been more than six years in the making. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Answered prayers

Jamie and David Price see a lot of things when they look at their daughter, Sophia Grace Price. They see a reason to never give up hope, they see an answered prayer, but mostly they see their beautiful daughter.

“That’s the cutest little tuft right there,” David laughed as he ran his finger over a curl in his daughter’s hair as she stared up at her parents.

After nine miscarriages, Jamie and David doubted if they’d ever have a full-term pregnancy. Yet this year, God answered their prayers when Sophia was born at 3:08 a.m. on Feb. 28, and now they’re celebrating their first Mother’s Day as a family.

And Sophia could soon have a sibling as the Prices started the process to adopt a child from China more than a year ago.

With Mother’s Day 2015, Jamie and David are excited to celebrate instead of being reminded only of loss. David recalled years of seeing someone’s child having a birthday or knowing families with multiple children, only to know his wife was once pregnant at the same time as those mothers.

“It just reminds you of loss,” Jamie said. “It’s not that you totally forget that, but it’s not in the forefront of your mind anymore.”

The prices married in 2008, but they’re quest to start a family wasn’t easy. They tried unsuccessfully to have a baby for more than six years and endured the heartache of nine miscarriages.

“I’ll tell you, after going through that just once or twice, it messes with your head in a way I can’t explain,” David said. “So after going through it nine times, I mean the one thing in the world you want more than anything else — it’s hard.”

Jamie Price holds her daughter Sophia Grace Price in the family's home Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Jamie Price holds her daughter Sophia Grace Price in the family’s home Friday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

 

Jamie, who works as a field agent for InterFACE Ministries, saw several doctors at multiple hospitals, but none ever held any answers. David, who works at Hormel Corporate, recalled one doctor crying with them because she had no way to help the couple.

They endured multiple tests, such as DNA testing, and doctors told them there was no reason they kept losing the pregnancies and were just as likely as the next person to have a baby. David remembered doctors doing ultra sounds and finding a weak heartbeat, telling them to go home and not worry about it, but with their history they already knew they would lose the baby.

“They said, ‘Oh don’t think about it, come back next week,’” David said. “Yeah, don’t think about it.”

The couple knew something was wrong, but they refused to give up despite their heartache. Jamie even tried Deer Placenta Ointment, or Lutaigao, a Chinese herbal medicine she heard about through a friend, to help nourish blood, regulate her cycle and adjust hormone regulations. They also saw a doctor who practiced applied kinesiology.

Fearing they’d never have a child of their own, Jamie and David decided to adopt a child from China and raised money for the adoption through various fundraisers, including a campaign to shave David’s beard last June.

At that time, David admitted he’d almost given up on the dream to have children, especially after seeing the eighth baby with an ultra sound and then losing it. Though the losses hit him hard, he became open to the idea of adopting.

“I had almost given up, to be honest,” David told the Herald last June. “But through time I guess you could say my heart was healed and I not only became open to it but really excited to the idea.”

But Jamie and David, members of Cornerstone Church, were about to get another answer to their prayers: Jamie was pregnant again.

Cautious hope

The couple guarded their hearts and emotions early in Sophia’s pregnancy, but they dared to hope after about 12 weeks since prior pregnancies had failed after about six weeks. As tests continued to come back positive and healthy, Jamie and David thanked God for every week the pregnancy continued to go strong.

“We’d seen ultra sounds before; we’d seen heartbeats before, but when we saw the heartbeat up where it was supposed to be that was a huge relief,” David said.

During the couple’s quest to have a baby, Jamie prayed about many things. One was to find a doctor who could find out why her body couldn’t sustain a pregnancy.

About two years ago, the couple started seeing Dr. Patrick Draayer of Draayer Chiropractic Clinic in Austin. Jamie said Draayer addressed problems nobody else had and gave them hope. Jamie remembers Draayer finding out within a 20-minute nutritional evaluation that her progesterone was low. She also had adrenal fatigue, which made her so exhausted it was sometimes hard to function. It would take Jamie’s body several months to heal, and in her first 13 weeks of pregnancy she took progesterone since her natural levels were low. Without that, she said she may have lost Sophia as well.

For Jamie and David Price the birth of Sophia Grace Price is thet answer to a prayer. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

For Jamie and David Price the birth of Sophia Grace Price is thet answer to a prayer. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Though Jamie and David credit Draayer for helping see them through the pregnancy, Jamie and David believe the power of prayer was key in the successful and healthy birth of their daughter.

Jamie remembers taking comfort when Jeremiah 29:11 came to her mind after her ninth miscarriage, and she said it helped her grieve and gave her hope.

“I remember during the last miscarriage, physically crying but crying out to [God] and saying, ‘Why?’” Jamie said. “You’re just overwhelmed with emotion. And a verse that I remember sharing many times with others, that’s memorized, God spoke it back in my heart: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’”

After much prayer, community support and hope, the couple finally gave birth to Sophia on Feb. 28.

Although Jamie and David went through difficult times, they encourage people to learn from their story to not give up hope.

“It sounds cliche, but his timing is perfect and he’s not done,” Jamie said. “God’s not done with you; he’s not done writing your story. And you have to keep believing.”

 A sister for Sophia

Despite giving birth to Sophia, the Prices have not given up on adoption and could have their second child as soon as six months, though it could take a few years.

Jamie and David took about a month off from work on the adoption after having Sophia, but they’re still working to adopt a child from China through the Chinese Children Adoption International. The process has been slow due to the amount of paperwork, but David was reminded how important it was to get through the process as quickly as possible after Sophia was born.

“She’s got us wrapped around her finger,” he said. “When she cries we jump up, but you never know at an orphanage if they cry if they just get ignored.”

“Or if they’ve trained themselves that they can’t cry because no one is coming,” Jamie added.

The couple has raised about $21,600 of the $30,000 they need for the adoption and hope to host another fundraising event soon.

Jamie said there is a seven-year waiting list for a healthy child from China, and they had to go through a checklist of about 60 medical conditions they would or would not be able to take on. The couple wanted to adopt a child from China because they already love and feel close to the culture. Jamie and David both speak some Chinese, and Jamie traveled to China in college and has Chinese friends.

Since they haven’t been matched to a child yet, the couple doesn’t know if she has been born or not; however, they already chose a tentative name, Ma Lia, which means Mary in Chinese.

“We pray for her by name,” Jamie said.

 ‘It’s all worth it’

Being parents has changed many things for the Prices, but as the two watched their daughter fall asleep in her swing recently, they said it’s worth every minute.

“You realize real quick what’s important,” David said. “And the things that used to consume your time before, it’s like that doesn’t really matter. It really puts things in perspective.”

Jamie joked about the sleep deprivation a new child brings, but she and David have worked out a system and are quickly learning how to care for their new daughter. The hard work and long nights haven’t changed their mind about adding another child to their family, though.

“We know it will be a lot of work, but when you start realizing just how important these little creatures are, no other work is as important,” David said. “It’s all worth it.”

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