On my birthday in February, we were caught somewhere in the middle of our first of two beta hells. We'd already received the first beta; it was low enough for us to know the "pregnancy" was likely doomed but high enough to warrant a second beta to just to be sure that we weren't giving up too soon. As was the routine for all of my appointments (no matter how small), Chance and Apollo met me at the hospital, this time bearing my birthday gifts.

Chance is not merely an artist, but a true, university-educated artiste, skilled in the ways of crafting something spectacular out of nothing special. She hand-stamped a plain white gift bag with hundreds of hearts in different shades of pink, and painted a solitary word in the corner:


Each gift inside was thoughtfully connected to our experiences together up to that point. Apollo gave me a compilation of short stories by Ernest Hemingway. On the night of our transfer two weeks prior, the two of us had a 2am discussion about authors we enjoyed. He was almost appalled to hear that I'd never read more than two of Hemingway's short stories. Wanting to correct this literary slight, he gifted me with the compilation and bookmarked his favorite story with a note about why it was so. Apollo was right; how I ever managed to overlook Hemingway is beyond me.  

Chance gave me pink pajamas (pink is her signature color) and my very own Reproducina, the rainbow farting unicorn. 

My Reproducina was a twin to the unicorn that Chance had bought for herself weeks before. We used them for fun here on this blog, as they were a light-hearted representation of all the hope we had for our journey together despite the hardships that had brought Chance and Apollo to surrogacy in the first place. As silly as the unicorns were, Chance's act of purchasing a tangible representation of those hopes was a major step for her. Receiving a unicorn of my own also symbolized the connection between the two of us.

The unicorn made cry, but the gift that really brought me to my knees was the jar. It was a simple jar. What once contained jam, now encapsulates our relationship. Small, hand-punched hearts (also in shades of pink) cover the lid. Inside, there is an assortment of larger hearts, and on each heart Chance wrote a word or phrase that related to my life, her life, and our lives together in our journey.

Some of my favorite things or things that reminded her of me:


My family:


Times we spent together:

Us better

"You had to be there" moments of hilarity:

Had to be there

Sparkly, Skittle-fart reminders to be gee-golly positive:


Support we relied upon so heavily from both specific individuals and the ALI blogging community as a whole:


All that we held our breaths in prayer for:


When I think of Chance, I often find that my gaze turns to this jar. Now, long past February, the second cycle in May, and the subsequent conclusion of our surrogacy journey, we know that the story does not conclude with the happily ever after that we all hoped it would. The tale which surrounds the jar is melancholy, but within those glassy walls there is the essence of all joy we hoped to have.

Embossed along the top of the jar are the words Bonne Maman. In French, it means "good mother."

She would have been a great one.

Bonne maman

Remembering all that should have been.

Who else is standing at the front of the class this week? Show and Tell with Mel.


  1. Becoming Whole on September 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Wow, Moxie. What a gift.
    Crying here for you and her.
    Few words for you, just hugs.

  2. JJ on September 23, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    So incredibly lovely…

  3. T Lee on September 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Beautiful, in so many ways…

  4. coffeegrl on September 23, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    what an amazing, bittersweet, once in a lifetime gift.

  5. Kristin on September 23, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Oh Moxie…what a lovely gift, what a lovely tribute to both of you, and how absolutely bittersweet to know it didn’t end the way you wanted it to.

  6. Jen on September 23, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    You’ve brought me to tears, Moxie. What a beautiful post. I prayed so hard for your journey with Chance & Apollo to have a happy ending. <3

  7. sunflowerchilde on September 24, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Wow, so beautiful. As always, you astound me with your depth of feeling and generosity. You must be an amazing person to have as a friend. I’m so sorry that the journey for you, Chance, and Apollo didn’t go the way you all planned.

  8. luna on September 24, 2009 at 1:22 am

    absolutely beautiful. love love love the jar.
    remembering all that should have been, indeed.

  9. stacie on September 24, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I am all teary now…such a touching post! All three of you sound like amazing people. It is heartbreaking that your journey together ended the way it did.
    Sending hugs your way.

  10. Lavender Luz on September 24, 2009 at 2:22 am

    The bonds among you are amazing.
    This post brings a lump to my throat.

  11. Carrie Holmquist on September 24, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Digging that last picture along with the words.
    Wishing things could have turned out differently.

  12. Shelli on September 24, 2009 at 8:31 am

    This just made me cry. First, because there was no happy ending (and my heart aches for you both), and secondly… I wish I had someone who would do something like that for me.

  13. tree town gal on September 24, 2009 at 9:26 am

    ok… remember… do not read this blog when on a conference call. in tears. just seeing chance and apollo’s names takes my breath away.

  14. a on September 24, 2009 at 9:53 am

    The only word to describe this is poignant (or maybe bittersweet). What lovely gifts. I wish it would have worked out better.

  15. Baby Smiling In Back Seat on September 24, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Oh man, Moxie. Are you trying to make us all cry?
    Best to Chance and Apollo.

  16. leanne on September 24, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Usually just a lurker, but had to write that this post is beautiful. Thank you for sharing the gifts with us.

  17. Erica on September 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I am crying. What a special gift.

  18. WhichBox on September 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Crying. Thank you.

  19. Beautiful Mess on September 24, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I think about Chance and Apollo so often. Those are the most beautiful gifts and gestures. They are wonderful, beautiful, and thoughtful people. I hold them and you close to my heart. If only “I wish” was enough.

  20. karlinda on September 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Such a beautiful post, and such a beautiful, simple gift. Bitter-sweet is right. Thanks for sharing that.

  21. Betty M on September 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    How cool is she! That is a fantastic gift. So simple yet so just right.

  22. Calliope on September 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    this brought the weeps
    you both are such beautiful women- inside & out

  23. anymommy on September 24, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    You are both diamonds, I feel privileged to have experienced even a small part of your journey and your friendship.

  24. SCY on September 25, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Amazing. That is what you both are. Not much brings tears to my eyes (way too jaded and cynical) but this post sure did.

  25. jenn on September 25, 2009 at 10:32 am

    what a beautiful gift and a lovely post.

  26. Dora on September 25, 2009 at 10:32 am

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  27. Sunny on September 25, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a personal gift with us. It is so pure and beautiful.

  28. JuliaKB on September 25, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Oh, Moxie… This is beautiful and heartbreaking, all at once. I too was thinking of Chance on Wednesday, and all of this week. Arranging our little traveling stones (ones we collect now wherever we go) to spell the four letters matching your candles. Missing all that could’ve been. Missing her.
    But damn, I am honored to have my name on one of those hearts in the jar…

  29. Bon on September 25, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    oof, my heart. an amazing gift. a gift that honoured the gift you gave them, of yourself and of hope and possibility. even as it ended, yours was still an amazing gift.
    i have been thinking of them – and you – and all that should have been this week.
    love to all, wherever.

  30. Susan on September 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Moxie….you never fail to make me either laugh until I pee or cry….frequently in the same post.

  31. tash on September 25, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Man, weepy pile of mush now. I lit a candle this week, myself — for her, for missing. Lotsa love to all of you.

  32. Amanda on September 26, 2009 at 12:27 am

    oh. wow. that is the most beautiful, thoughtful, completely heartfelt gift I have ever seen.
    thanks for sharing.

  33. Mary on September 29, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Oh wow. I just read this, and I am a mess of tears. There are some really, really sad tears in there, but there are also some strong tears deeply touched by the strength, joy and love in this post. This is a best-of-the-web post, it says so much and means so much. Thank you (from the bottom of my heart) for sharing this.

  34. Jessica on October 19, 2009 at 11:51 am

    This is truely a beautiful post. I felt the love in the gift your friend has given you. I have had my own battles with best friends lately and to see what she has done for you is truely beautiful. Truely an amazing friendship.

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