Little Tait’s Story…

by Peter Serven on June 8th, 2011

Tait and Lauren Zimmerman were married May 3, 2008. A month later, they joyfully found out they were expecting their first child! Six months into her pregnancy, Lauren went into labor. During the rushed drive to the midwife’s, and the ensuing 40-mile ambulance ride to the hospital in Anchorage, the young couple offered up many prayers for the safety of both mother and baby.

Tait received a call from the midwife en route informing him that there was no reversing the labor at that point, and that his new son or daughter would be born that day. The couple’s midwife tried to prepare Tait for all possible outcomes, and just prior to the emergency C-section, Tait and Lauren committed their soon-to-be-born child’s life to the Lord in prayer.

Tait Edward Zimmerman, Jr. was born November 6, 2008, a 27-week preemie, weighing just 2 pounds 9 ounces and measuring 14 inches long. Amazingly, Little Tait was breathing on his own, though he did need significant breathing assistance over the next few months. Little Tait spent the first three months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Providence in Anchorage, AK, connected to numerous feeding and oxygen tubes, wires, leads, and IV’s.

These three months were filled with strange new medical terms, and a whole education in newborn intensive care. Tait and Lauren found themselves looking forward to unusual milestones — the removal of an IV, their son’s first feeding (from a syringe through a feeding tube), removal of the bili light and accompanying goggles, higher oxygen saturations, closure of his heart’s PDA valve, fewer apnea events, progression from the CPAP to cannula, graduation to an open crib, satisfactory weight gains, first oral feeding, and first time momentarily disconnected from the plethora of cords, wires, and tubes.

While these long months were some of the most difficult of Tait’s and Lauren’s lives, the Lord used them as a time of immense growth and provided daily opportunities to share their family’s hope and vision with many of Little Tait’s kind caretakers.

Early in Little Tait’s stay, Tait and Lauren were approached by social workers, informing them that — because of their son’s low birth weight — Medicaid would automatically cover their hospital bills in full, as well as partially cover meals, lodging, transportation, and any future therapies. While it was definitely a tempting option to just sign their son’s substantial bill off to the taxpayers, and while social workers raised many arguments in favor of the government programs, Tait and Lauren sought counsel and stood firm on their pre-marriage commitment to not accept government welfare; instead, they sought to cover the costs on their own and with any help the Lord might send through private support.

By God’s grace, and through help from the body of Christ, they were able to raise $51,000 in 60 days to cover Little Tait’s neonatology bill. The hospital bill is still under negotiation.

Little Tait finally came home on February 6, his three-month birthday, two days after his due date, weighing 8 pounds 15 ounces. Today, he is a healthy, happy, energetic 2 ½-year old who brings constant joy to his parents. He loves playing with his best friend and brother Miles (20 months), and adores his newest little brother Matthew (born May 25th). Tait and Lauren are so thankful to the Lord for all He has done in and through their precious son’s life, and pray that Little Tait would grow up to be a mighty man of God.