Guest Blogger Anna Marshall: Dear Ella

Dear Ella, 

I must say you my darling, are the greatest gift I could have ever received. You already know that , but I have never told you how and why.

Before you were even a twinkle in my eye, I was with someone who I thought was going to be my “forever person.” That idea ended abruptly when he was killed in a car accident in August of 2012.

I thought that was going to be the hardest thing I would ever go through, or experience.

For 3 months, I was not myself. I didn’t know who I was. I was someone that I didn’t want to be. In November, I was romantic with someone who was NOT my “forever person.” Someone who I did not know. This was not my personality; this was not me.

Three months later in January, I discovered I was pregnant.

First, I panicked. Natural reaction? Right? I was not in a relationship, I was not financially stable, I was not ready. I made the decision to go the doctor and that day. They did an ultrasound. I saw your little feet fluttering and I heard your beautiful heartbeat. This was meant to be. I believe that everything happens for a reason. You my darling, were that thing that was supposed to happen.

My emotions were all over the place. I didn’t know what to do. I cried, a lot. I waited a week to tell Grandma. I showed her your first picture. She said, “We will figure this out. You are going to be a wonderful mother.” Then, Grandma called Papa. He said, “We will be ok, we are going to see her cute button nose and fall in love with her.” This statement couldn’t have been closer to the truth.

You saved me sweetheart.

You would NOT believe the amount of support and love we both had before you were even here! I was so excited to meet you as well as everyone else. We invited SO many people to the baby shower. You would think there would be a lot of judgment and hurt. There was NONE of that.

Luckily, I was able to have an ultrasound every month. Each time I brought someone different with me because I didn’t want to be alone. I wanted to make this the happiest time of my life, and I succeeded. I didn’t want the fact that I was going through this “alone” to affect me because I wasn’t alone. I just didn’t have a man with me.

I had something better than that. I had friends and family pouring out to be with me, talk to me, bring support.

During my pregnancy with you, I was nervous. I was nervous I couldn’t provide for you. I was nervous about who you would look like. I wanted you to look like me (good thing you are a spitting image of me)! I was nervous I wouldn’t give you a life you so deserved.

The day I was waiting for finally came. My water broke! It was Saturday, July 27th at 12:45 am. It was not as exciting as I thought. I just had to go pee… and then it happened! I called Grandma, she came right over. We waited until 6 am when I couldn’t take it anymore and we went to the hospital. Again, so many people were waiting to come see you, waiting for you to be born. Sunday, July 28th at 10 am (yes, you didn’t come for THAT long, and Mommy couldn’t eat) they decided it was time to do a C-section. Originally, I was completely against it until I didn’t have a choice. You were ready baby girl! Grandma suited up and came in the operating room with me.

You were born at 11:10 am on Sunday, July 28th, 2013.

My life changed for the better, in such a beautiful way. One thought that didn’t cross my mind was, I am alone. I was with the most beautiful little girl in the world, and family and friends who were ecstatic to meet you!

When we came home the following Wednesday, Papa and Grandma took turns for the first few nights to sleep at the apartment. The first night? You slept 6 hours! You were THE best baby! I truly believe you were “easy” and so wonderful, because you were so meant to be. It was meant to be just us. It was supposed to be just me waking up in the middle of the night with you and going to work the next day, doing it all. You made this easy for me.

Some people say I am “amazing” or “tough”, but I don’t know anything else. I love it being this way. I get to make the decisions, I get to be the parental unit, I get to be the proud mama when people compliment you about who you have become.

You will never see me cry, you will never see the hurt, you will never see the struggles we went through together. The fact that I had to yell at a social worker through the county to try and get support because one salary wasn’t quite cutting it. Yelling at her that I didn’t know who he was, your father. I knew when it happened, where I was, but not who…his name. For that, I couldn’t get help from the state. You didn’t see my cry that night, or the next week after that. You didn’t see me crying in my bed saying, “I can’t do this,” even when you got to your toddler stage and some days gave me hell. You didn’t see me cry when it would have been someone else’s turn with you, when I reached my wits end. The next day came and I was fine, you were fine.

We made it to another day.

It’s harder when you get older because of the questions, the school forms, your birth certificate, things on paper that are lacking your father. I don’t want either of us to think about that. We are strong women, and we did this. We are doing this. I don’t want you to be angry.

I want you to feel empowered and be proud of your mom. Be proud of what we accomplished together.

My goal is to make you the happiest, most thoughtful, caring, beautiful soul anyone will ever meet. So far, at the age of 3, you are. I didn’t want people to think you were lacking. I want them to know that you are able to be the best person you want to be, even if it was just me raising you. My goal is to one day be able to provide that father figure for both of us. I want you to be able to share your life with him, someone I can make parental decisions with. Someone who will help me when we find a spider that both of us are too scared of. Someone who will help me and emotional support me. Most of all, share the love for you. I want you to see what love is, not just for you, but between two people. If we don’t, we will be just fine, because we can do this and you can do this.

This is what I wrote about you on your third birthday:

This girl. Where do I begin? I don’t know if I can take credit for this loving, caring, cheerful, gifted, wonderful, thankful beautiful human being. I can’t explain the impact a child makes on your life, but it’s incredible. Just in the past 24 hours two things happened that explain her personality perfectly. 1) I got burnt on vacation and I explained that she needed to be careful. Last night, she said ‘Ok, mom I am going to put my hand on your shoulder. I’ll be careful, I don’t want to hurt you’. She couldn’t be sweeter. 2) We didn’t have a huge birthday party this year, but we tried our best to celebrate all day today. She got to pick out her cake and when we went to go pick it up she says ‘MOM! I am so excited’! She doesn’t need a ton, she is happy with what she gets, and she is thankful for what we have and she has. This girl is the most beautiful soul you will ever meet. Happy THIRD birthday you sweet thang! I love you!

This is proof that I have succeeded in being the mother I want to be for you. So far…I think.

I must say that you my darling, are the greatest gift I could have ever received.

You already know that, and now you know why.

I love you.


Photos courtesy of Anna Marhsall.




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