Friday, June 13, 2008

To Have and To Hold...

Little Z getting preped for extubation...

Kristen holding Zachary after extubation...

Daddy holding Little Z...

Carter and Addison sharing ice cream... :)

Hello, family and dear, dear friends,

I just had the joy of reviewing the pictures Jimmy took of our most unpredictable day at the hospital.

Zach was extubated today and I’m exhilarated to report that he is officially breathing without a ventilator. As you know, this is a significant milestone. While his prognosis has not changed, God has granted us more time to have and to hold our baby boy.

It was such an event wrapped in a non-event package. The nurses came in, told us his numbers looked great, and asked if we were ready to go. It’s such an odd circumstance…a seemingly benign act (removing a small tube) with such paramount implications (will he breathe?)…

When they first took it out, it appeared he was going to do fine and there was an air of “see, I told you it would be ok” in the room. But then it wasn’t ok. In fact, it wasn’t ok for about 4 minutes. Four minutes of every imaginable emotion a mother and father can feel watching and waiting to see if their son would take another breath. I recall conversing with God at one point: “Are you here? Are you here to take him? I’m not ready. But I want what is in your will, Dear Lord. I want what is in your will.”

Zach breathed. His heart rate and his pulse slowly returned to normal. We could see his chest going in and out and his little heart beating. And then “the event” was over and they placed a CPAP on him (a device that provides continuous pressure to his lungs – often used for people with sleep apnea) to give him a little something extra after having been ventilated for so long. Our hope for tomorrow is that his numbers continue to stabilize and that we can simply place him on a nasal cannula (much less invasive) that will allow him comfortable self-breathing.

Ultimately, our hope is that we will be able to bring Zachary home to rest comfortably here. A series of miracles like today’s will need to happen in order to him to leave the hospital. How long he will be on this Earth is still unknown and no one will speculate. What we do know for sure is that Zachary is a fighter, your prayers are lifting each of us, and his purpose is continuing to make itself known. How loved we feel, how supported we are, and mostly, how blessed we are to have him in our lives. As Nancy Graham Ogne says, “GO GOD”!

We celebrated tonight with our moms and Carter and Addison on the front porch with ice cream cones. It was perfect and much-needed “normal” in this not-at-all-normal time. We hope you enjoy the pictures.

With gratitude,

Kristen and Jimmy


jon said...

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. -Job 33:4

Praise the Lord for answered prayer! (but we must not let up)

You guys are doing mighty things and obviously touching the lives of so many people. Your witness with the outpouring of love, prayers and support is proof that The Kingdom is hard at work for Zachary.

Thanks for the pictures of the Z-man, who is a thing of beauty. Kristen, you are adorable. Jimmy, you're pretty cute too.

Jon Schaeffer

Anonymous said...

Kristin and Jimmy, may God continue to give you the peace to make the decisions you must make in little Z's life. My prayers are not ceasing. Your family is in His hands, continue to move forward. Enjoy the little things like ice cream cones! You are loved. Blessings, Cheryl Davis

The Hay Family said...

Your blog gives my prayers a wonderful intentions are to keep praying and lifting you up!

Some of my favorite verses are:
Phil 4 : 6-7
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Psalm 46 "God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress."

God bless all the Tates!
The Hay Family

Jonathan Spuler said...

With you guys right around the corner we drive by multiple times throughout the day – EVERY time, we pray for your guys and for Z. He is a fighter – GO GOD!

Jonathan Spuler

Katherine Rubert said...



May God bless you on FATHER' S DAY !


Saharre Max said...

I am so happy for you and trust me more miracles will happen. We just have to keep praying and I will and all your family and friends will.

Saharre Max

Kim Hawk said...

Wonderful news, wonderful

Blessings, Kim

James Graham said...

What great news!!!! I prayed and prayed today and couldn't sleep waiting for your report. I am so happy that Zach can rest more comfortably now without the tube. How scary those 4 minutes must have been!! What a fighter!

I am going to look at the pictures right now.

Rob Zollinger said...

I wish you and your family nothing but Joy.

Thank you for sharing,


Joan Bresee said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

Thank you for including me and keeping me posted on your little miracle. Mike has also shared with us your conversations and I want you to know that I am one more person thinking of you and your family and hoping and praying that little Zach will be able to come home very soon. You have been through so much and your strength and faith are truly touching and inspiring. God bless all of you.

Fondly, Joan

Evan Schaeffer said...

Kristen & Jimmy--

As you can see (below), my mom has been forwarding at least some of your emails to the rest of the family on the Schaeffer side. I just wanted to let you know that we are reading the emails, and the weblog, and that you and the kids and especially little Zachary are in our prayers.


Bill and Eve Ibrahim said...

Dear friends,

God bless your angel and we will continue to pray for him. We rejoice in this good news…..

Our Prayers

Bill and Eve Ibrahim

Kristin Olson said...

Happy Father's Day, Jimmy!
We're sure this Father's Day has special significance for you, and we're wishing you love & happiness. We hope you enjoy your day with your amazing family. May God continue to shower you with many blessings.

Eric & Kristin

The Pifers said...

Dear Tate family:

As you know we have been away on vacation and we were stunned to hear the news that your precious little guy had been born. It was only 2 weeks ago that YOU were delivering me a meal. How guilt ridden I have been!

It has been amazing to have come back to all of your e-mails and now a blog to keep us updated without having to burden you with yet another phone call or visit. We know you must be overwhelmed with everyone wanting to know what is going on, how you are doing etc. You and Jimmy are doing such a great job of letting the rest of us share in the glory of your gift of your son. What a story you tell, so eloquently and faith based and strong. Jeff and I are deeply touched and moved by your words and pictures. This has to be some of the best times and some of the most worrisome in your life that we can't even imagine.

I have sat in front of my computer for several hours hoping to find the most perfect thing to say to you and your family but my words seem so inadequate right now. Our only wish is that you know we too will be there for you in a moments notice for anything you need....we are only a phone call or e-mail away.

You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. May God look over you and your family.

With love and friendship,

The Pifers

James Graham said...

Hi Jimmy and Kristen,
Just wanted to send you a quick note letting you know we are still praying for you. We hope you had a good weekend with Zach. We thought a lot about you on this special Fathers Day.

Love to you and your family.

Holly and Jim

Beverley Tate said...

Jimmy & Kristen -

My computer has been down over a week, but Jim had called us before they left . Thank you for thinking of me....I appreciate the blog site so I can keep up with Zach's progress.

I am so proud of both of you and your unshakeable love and trust in God's will and purpose. It is so easy to ask "why us".
I will certainly keep all of you in my prayers and look forward to your next posting.

With love, Beverley Tate