It’s Not July

Yesterday, April 3, 2016, was one of the longest days of my life.

My daughter went into labor. The problem was, she wasn’t due until July 13.  Distraught, she kept crying – “It’s not July yet. It’s too soon. It’s not July.”

It’s not July.

Her daughter apparently did not care what month it is.

Born at 12:40 yesterday afternoon, our little princess weighed in at a whopping 1 pound 11 1/2 ounces and is 12 1/2 inches long. More than 24 hours old now, she is still breathing on her own, which is miraculous considering the circumstances. Who knows why these things happen, but as evidenced by the other 19 premees in the NICU, it happens frequently.

Thus begins a new journey in our lives.

IMG_2743We do not have a name for this tiny little baby yet. Her mamma hasn’t been able to make up her mind yet. She’ll probably end up with 8 names. A moniker that is longer than she is. But that’s ok, she’s beautiful and perfect and we could not love her more. Yesterday, I was calling her Princess Bob. Today, I called her Princess Snugglebottoms. I’m giving her a new nick name every day until her mamma picks out a permanent name for her. 🙂

One day, I plan on telling her this story, of the day she was born. I can picture her now, with dark ringlets and a bright smile, listening to me ramble on about what a perfect but tiny baby she was. I can already see her smile at me, perhaps she’ll roll her eyes and saying something sweet such as, “Bob? Snuggle bottoms? Grandma, what were you thinking?”

IMG_2745But that day is a long way off. For now, our lives will consist of the NICU at OSF – the best hospital this baby and her mamma could hope to be in. It will consist of IV’s and tubes in her little belly button. Of blood tests and blood levels, incubators, machines, and nurses who should be sainted. There are countless long days and nights ahead, filled with questions, worries, concerns and I am sure, scary and terrifying moments.

But it will also be filled with hope, awe, and faith. I refuse to worry at this point. I refuse to allow worry and dread to take over. I’m going to focus only on miraculous milestones, such as ‘she’s x hours old’, then ‘x days old’, then weeks, then months.

In my heart, it was still a joyous day, even if it was filled with several terrifying and heartbreaking moments. And when I heard her cry for the first time – she sounded like a newly born kitten – I did not think I would be able to stop the tears of joy at that blessed, beautiful sound.

No matter the outcome, this baby is a blessing.

I am blessed in that my job is completely portable. All I need is my laptop. But for now, I’m putting all writing on hold. My daughter, my granddaughter, they need me. I’m also blessed that I’m only 15 minutes from the hospital. I’ll take my work with me if I need to or when things settle down a bit.

My daughter lives an hour away and has a 5 year old in kindergarten. During the week, she’ll be at home with my grandson and I will be at the hospital with the little one. On the weekends, Emilee and my grandson be living with us so that she can spend as much time as possible with her precious daughter. This week my husband and son will be busy rearranging furniture and finding creative ways to find room for extra people.

IIMG_2749t has been a very long three days, but things will settle down soon enough when we are finally able to get into a rhythm of sorts. For now, I’m enjoying every single moment with this precious, beautiful baby with the dark hair, and long  ‘piano finger’, and the button nose, and tiny toes.

My daughter gets to go home tomorrow. It’s going to be a little disappointing not taking the baby with us. But as I told Emilee tonight, by the time the baby can come home, Emilee will be well rested and back to her old self, instead of sore, exhausted, and hormonal. Hey, you have to find those silver linings wherever you can!

I ask that you keep my daughter, granddaughter, and family in your prayers.

I thank you in advance for your kind understanding of my publishing delays for 2016.


Suzan Tisdale

Very proud grandma to Princess Snugglebottoms




46 thoughts on “It’s Not July

  1. Hugs and prayers. Be sure to give her ncknames that will embarrass her when she is a teen. They are so fun to tease. My grands range from 22 to 9. I always tell them their stories. I’m so glad you are enjoying her.

  2. Almost exact same circumstances, my niece was due in July and was born April 14th, 1 pound 13 oz. She’ll be turning 5 in 10 days and you’d never know she was premie. Just take one day at a time 🙂

  3. A strong woman that came from a strong woman and on and on. You and I both know that the train doesn’t stop with you and Em. It doesn’t even stop with Princess CuddleBudget (that is my nickname for her for today) Things will turn out as they should, everyone will do great, and Little Miss will grow up to be just as wonderful as the rest of the women in her clan. You know I’m right cause I’m always right…lol. My Love and thoughts to you all.

  4. My sweet storyteller, my prayers will be with you, your daughter, your granddaughter and your whole loving family in this time of great joy and nerve racking minutes. May GOD Bless and keep you all safely in HIS hands.

  5. I so know what you are going through my first was born in 2005 at 25 weeks weighing 11.7 ounces 10 inches long. My second was born in 2008 at 28 weeks weighing 1 pound 3 ounces 11 3/4 inches. They arey Miracle Babies. Our Prayers are with you for your Journey that has begun.

  6. Keeping you and yours in my prayers. May God Bless each of you as he probifes what is needed. ❤

  7. My prayers are with you and your precious granddaughter. She will grow up to be the apple of your eye and will roll her eyes at the stories of her birth and the horrible nicknames you gave her while she was in the NICU. Focus on her and do not worry about work right now, we your fans understand.

  8. Emilee,
    I wish you all the best. Your little girl will be wonderful. Looks like you have a lot of support.

  9. May your princess gain on life each day. I know that having grandma there will help tremendously. She is a fighter already and she will get stronger, I have faith that she will. Give my love to Emilee, be okay. My prayers are going out for you all.

  10. My great nephew was born at 1 pound and dropped a few ounces after that, over three months early. He went home on his due date, Halloween. That was fourteen and a half years ago. Princess Snugglebottoms has got this, grandma! I will be praying for her and the rest of you to stay strong until she can join the rest of the family. Much love!

  11. Love you, girl. You’re in our prayers. I’ve been there, and I’ve done that. It is rather terrifying. I’m so happy you’re so close. Your girls need you.

  12. You and your daughter and new granddaughter are in my thoughts and prayers! 15 years ago my great nephew was born over 3 months premature and weighed 1lb 9 ounces, can’t remember the length. It was a terrifying time, with all these predictions of doom (it was 15 years ago, so not as advanced as today), and while he was a little slower to do some things physically, by the time he reached kindergarten he was all caught up! Now at 15 he’s 6’4″ and about 200 pounds, lol. Keep the faith, God bless

  13. I’m positive your precious granddaughter has your cheekiness! Your family is in my thoughts. Sending you lots of positive vibes.

  14. My prayers are with your grand daughter, your daughter, and you as well as the rest of your family.

    I’m reminded of Psalm 139:16 Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.


  15. The prayers and good wishes are unlimited. This little miracle is going to wrap all of you around her precious little finger. May you all know many more blessings in the days ahead. 💐😇

  16. Congratulations. Do not worry. I have a very healthy, very happy, very talkative 9 year old granddaughter. She came home after 2 months in the hospital, she hit the road running and has not stopped yet. As for a name, I opt for (not that you asked), Verity. It means truth and I think it is a great name for a girl. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Lori

  17. Welcome to the world Princess! Sending up healing prayers for this precious little one, for her momma and all family. My son spent a few days in an OSF NICU in Peoria, IL 18 1/2 years ago. I was glad to be there getting top notch care. My son looked hilarious next to all those teeny tiny babies, he was just a couple ounces short of 10 lbs. He has stayed big ever since, now over 6’6 and 230 lbs.

  18. Prayers for emotional strength lifted up and prayers for growth and health for the Princess. Thank to Ethernet March

  19. Prayers your way..just know I was born a 2 LB 1 0z preemie in 1949 and turned out very normal.. hugs and prayers yourxway

  20. Congratulations, try not to worry my daughter was born early and weighed 900grms (2lbs) and like the little princess was able to breathe on her own, she came home after a little over 3 weeks and is now a strapping size UK12 16yr old. Hugs to you, your daughter and granddaughter and not forgetting the granddaddy

  21. Thanks to the March of Diimes for their research which not only helps prevent preterm birth but their development of technology to care for these tiny bundles and their families. The Princess and your daughter are blessed to have you and family to support them. Prayers and hugs.

  22. As a grandmother I know what it is like. Two years ago my granddaughter was born 3 months early weighing 15.5 ounces and 10 inches long. she now 23 pounds still has her trach and feeding tube. Shes our little miracle. Enjoy your little miracle. I will keep you and your family in our prayer. Miracles happen.

  23. A name for your beautiful princess Heaven Leigh. Just an idea god works n mysterious ways congratulations to you and your daughter!!

  24. Sending positive thoughts and big squeeezy hugs to all of you. May you tell your granddaughter many stories as she grows up! Who knows she might become a story teller like her cheeky grandma 😉 XOXO

  25. My youngest daughter was born at 29 weeks gestation…3 lb 12 ozs (yes, she would have been enormous!) That was 15 years ago and now you would never know there had been an issue. Miracles happen…never forget that! Keep the faith and love that baby every second you can! Blessed Be!

  26. Oh Suzan, Thank you for calling me the day Sweet pea Arrived . But I have to say I think I was In Shock, It didn’t really hit me tell after we hung up from talking. Then the tears just roll down my face and I said ” Oh dear lord Please Be with This Little girl ” I have to say she has a Angel looking after her …. I’m so Happy to hear and see pictures of ” Miss Not July Yet.”. This made my heart So Happy.. Now I can’t wait to see my Great Great niece , All my love and prayers to you all

  27. Sincere prayers for strength and grace for all of you in the days and months ahead. Also a few words of encouragement: one of the smartest, most successful women I’ve ever known was born weighing 2lbs. In the 1950s. She literally slept in a shoebox when her parents took her home, not expecting her to live. I suggest the name Angela, because, perhaps she is a tiny angel sent to show the world that miracles are all around us. God bless you and your family.

  28. All of your family is our prayers, especially Princess Snugglebottoms. My 2nd Granddaughter was born a little over 4 weeks early and spent 6 days in NICU. That was terrifying enough so my heart goes out to all of you for what you are experiencing. My granddaughter is now an active 2 year old that makes us laugh every day. It will be very hard for your daughter to leave the hospital without her daughter, that was very depressing for my daughter. But it does give her to time to heal and rest. We all pray that God gives all of you the strength to get through this and the medical team all the knowledge possible to see her through.

  29. I couldn’t have said any of it better. Fear not, the Good Lord God is with you all, He has brought you to this and with faith He will get you through this! Blessings, prayers and love! 😇

  30. God bless your family and my prayers are with y’all! My granddaughter Lilly came early and the scariest thing was being in California while my kids were in Tennessee. It all worked out in the end as Lilly is a healthy, active 2 year old. Miracles do happen! 💞

  31. Sending you prayers. Babies are strong and the NICU can do wonders to help a baby grow and be healthy. My cousin was born at 26 or 27 weeks 34 years ago. She’s married and living a full life. So while the journey right now might be stressful, your granddaughter will get where she needs to be so she can go home. Congratulations to all of you.

  32. Princess snuglebottoms, and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers. My daughter was born at 30 weeks, weighed 2lbs. 14 oz., 15 1/2 in. It will not be an easy battle for sure. She was in NICU for 47 days. She developed metabolic acidosis. Turned an awful brown color, and we almost lost her. That was 17 years ago, almost 18 this July. She has a mild form of cerebral palsy. NICU nurses are the best of the best! We had an absolutely amazing bunch of dedicated women taking care of our daughter. We were there almost 24/7 with her. We would go in at 2-3 in the morning sometimes. They were very gracious and put up with a barrage of questions we fired at them. Just remember the drs. and nurses are the best, what they can’t do, give it to God! My Dad’s fishing chat room people from all over the world, all religions, prayed for her when she almost died. I had her baptised with sterile water, for obvious reasons and her health improved from then on. Miracles do happen! On a side note Autumn was in front of the NICU window, where expecting parents toured. There were several little girls in the NICU named Autumn after that. Good luck, and God Bless you all on this journey, it will be one for sure. Your Princess will be worth it though!

  33. Beautiful words for a beautiful baby! Here is wishing you all the best! Hugs to your daughter and new granddaughter. Hope everything continues to go well for everyone!

  34. God’s blessings to your little Princess and all the rest of the family! Also hugs and prayers!
    We will keep all of you in prayer!

  35. How about Sara/Sarah? I hear that it’s Hebrew meaning princess. I think that it will be a perfect name for your little one.

  36. Beautiful baby girl. My niece was born on April 6th of 2002., but her due date was July 4th. She weighed 1 pound 4 oz at birth and was 11″ long. She spent 89 days in the NICU. I am telling you this because she just celebrated her 14th birthday last week. The doctors and nurses that work in NICU are amazing and my nice has very few issues from being a micro premie. Praying for your little miracle!

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