Mother-of-two tragically dies while giving birth to her friend’s baby

Mother-of-two with the ‘best’ personality tragically dies while giving birth to another family’s baby – after selflessly acting as their surrogate for a second time

  • Michelle Reaves, from California, offered to be a surrogate for a local family
  • While delivering baby on her second surrogacy, she was left fighting for her life
  • She tragically died on Wednesday, leaving behind husband Chris and two kids

A mother-of-two who offered to be a surrogate for another family tragically lost her life following complications during childbirth.

Michelle Reaves, from San Diego, made the selfless decision to serve as a surrogate in a bid to help another family have children. 

But devastatingly, while serving as a surrogate for the second time for a local family, Michelle ran into complications during childbirth and was left fighting for her life. 

Sadly, she lost her battle on Wednesday, leaving behind her husband Chris, and two children, Gage and Monroe. 

And now, her friend Jaime Herwehe, 28, is sharing Michelle’s story with the world while asking people to donate to her grieving family via a GoFundMe page set up in her honor.  

Michelle Reaves, from California, was acting as a surrogate when she tragically died from complications during childbirth. Pictured with husband Chris and their kids, Gage and Monroe

Writing on the GoFundMe page, Jaime explained: ‘Michelle was on her second surrogacy for the same family and as she was delivering the baby this morning, one complication led to the next and she fought for her life.’

‘Although the baby made it out safe, Michelle did not.’

Describing Michelle as having the ‘best’ personality, she recalled: ‘For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Michelle, she will always be known for the love she had for her family.’

‘Michelle has the best, most sarcastic, funny personality and always had you laughing.’

‘Michelle and Chris have two beautiful kids, Gage and Monroe who my heart breaks for, knowing they won’t grow old with their mama.’

Jaime went on to say that she ‘can’t even begin to imagine’ what Chris and her two babies are going through, so she has set up the fundraising page while the family adjust, and for funeral services, and anything that may help at this devastating time.

She added that while you often hear about tragic circumstances, never in a million years do you think it’ll happen to you. 


Surrogacy is when a woman carries a baby for a couple who are unable to conceive or carry a child themselves.

Such couples may include those who have suffered recurrent miscarriages, repeated IVF failures, premature menopause or a hysterectomy.

The risks of being a surrogate mother are the same as for every pregnancy, and include nausea, heart burn and back ache.

In extreme cases, surrogates can suffer high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.

Straight surrogacy

This involves using the surrogate’s egg and the intended father’s sperm.

It is the least expensive and simplest form of the procedure.

Host surrogacy

Host surrogacy requires IVF with either the intended mother’s eggs or donor eggs rather than those of the surrogate.

In this case, the surrogate is genetically unrelated to the baby.

Donor eggs can be from friends or relatives, or anonymously donated.

What are the laws?

Surrogacy is legal in the UK, however, it cannot be advertised.

No third parties are allowed to be involved and surrogates can only receive payments to cover expenses incurred as a result of being pregnant.

In the US, surrogacy costs around $100,000 (£75,879), with laws varying between states.

Source: Surrogacy UK 

‘If you can’t donate at this time, please at least share so we can try to do everything we can for their family,’ she continued.

‘This all doesn’t even feel real, let’s be there for Michelle’s family like they would for us.

‘No one deserves to lose their mama so young or the mother of their children.’ 

The GoFundMe page has been flooded with words of condolence and support from donors, with several fellow surrogates offering messages of sympathy to Michelle’s family. 

‘As a fellow surrogate who just gave birth 3 weeks ago, this is absolutely devastating! I’m lifting both families in prayer during this unimaginable time,’ one person wrote. 

Another added: ‘I work in the surrogacy world and this is so incredibly sad and heartbreaking. May Michelle’s memory be a blessing to all who knew her.’

One mother whose had twin girls via a surrogate in San Diego said she was ‘heartbroken’ over the news of Michelle’s death, writing: ‘I am donating on the behalf of my two year old twin girls who were born via surrogate in [San Diego]. 

‘This is the most horrifying and ultimate sacrifice that surrogates take to selfishly help strangers start their families. I am completely heart broken for your family and words cannot express how deeply I feel for you. I pray that God lifts you up and surrounds you with strength and comfort during this time of crisis. God bless you.’