Before Their Time

Before Their Time

Lessons in Living from Those Born Too Soon

by Daniel Taylor and Ronald Hoekstra

Before Their Time
  • Length: 202 pages
  • Published: July 17, 2000
  •  Discontinued
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-2265-2
  • Item Code: 2265
  • Case Quantity: 16

There is a time for everything. Things that miss their appointed hour are at risk, and they place us at risk. They catch us as we are, not as we wish to be. They show us what we do not want to see.

Before Their Time tells the stories of six children born too soon--true stories of women, men and tiny children exploring the meaning of life, death and faith. Written by Daniel Taylor from extensive interviews, each story arises out of the practice of Dr. Ronald Hoekstra at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With Taylor, you will enter the neonatal intensive care unit, a quietly crowded place of babies, doctors, nurses, parents and machines. It is place of drama, heartache, waiting and joy. And it is a place where God is found.

The questions raised by the stories of these smallest of infants are as large as life itself. What makes a life worth living? How much should we do--or spend--to preserve it? What is the balance between medicine and faith? As you explore Before Their Time you will wrestle with your own answers to these questions. And you'll find these miraculous lives can transform your own--just as they transformed the lives of their families and caregivers.

"English professor Taylor and Hoekstra, a physician at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, tell the stories of six infants born after only some 22 weeks' gestation, their parents, and the staff, primarily the nurses, of the neonatal intensive-care unit that treated them. Faith played a major role in dealing with the many crises of the infants' lives as well as in their parents' views of their children, their families, and their religions. Although one infant died and at least two were left with physical or mental damage, miracles happened in all of the babies' stories, and the adults involved, lay and medical, learned much about themselves and their diverse roles in life. Taylor and Hoekstra's moving account of experiences that remain indelible for all those involved in them isn't for those skeptical of the comfort, support, and hope that firm religious belief can provide. Yet even skeptics should consider their provocative query, "When are we doing things to the baby instead of for the baby?" William Beatty. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved."


"[D]oes more than tap into the emotions; it raises valuable ethical issues about the nature and quality of life."

Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2000


1. Lamarre's List
2. Simon: A Slow Miracle
3. B. J.: A Special Child
4. Blake: No Hope Boy
5. Anna Liam: At the Center of the Circle
6. "Won't You Even Try?": One Doctor's thoughts About Those Born Too Soon
7. Lessons in Living

Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor, PhD, is a professor of English at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has written several books.

BY Daniel Taylor

Hoekstra is a neonatologist at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He specializes in the illnesses of newborns, particularly premature babies. He is also a popular speaker.

BY Ronald Hoekstra