A surrogate mother who playfully advertised her ‘womb for rent’ has given birth to a baby boy after she made the decision to help two complete strangers become parents.
Michelle Griffin, from Perth, turned to social media to find the perfect couple who were desperate to fulfil their dream of being a family.
The 27-year-old – who already has two children – daughter Leilani, 5, and son Issac, 3 – met Kate Ranger, 34, and her partner Kris Barlow at a surrogacy seminar in 2017.
The couple had struggled with fertility because Kate was told she could never fall pregnant after she discovered at the age of 16 she didn’t have a uterus.
But on March 21, Michelle gave the pair the ultimate gift after she gave birth to their son Jack.
Surrogate mother Michelle Griffin (left holding baby Jack) made the gracious decision to help Kate Ranger (right) become a mother after she was told she could never fall pregnant
Michelle (pictured pregnant with baby Jack) surrounded by her husband Trent (far left), Kate (second from right) and her partner Kris Barlow (far right)
Kate was told she could never fall pregnant after she discovered at the age of 16 she didn’t have a uterus – but on March 21, she welcomed her baby son Jack into the world
‘It was the moment we had all been waiting for so long and it was such a natural and amazing moment to finally be able to hand Jack to his mummy. It really was the best reward,’ Michelle told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s pretty cool knowing that I grew him, and I birthed him but I have no motherly connection at all, definitely nothing like it is with my kids.
‘It’s really just like seeing any of my other friends’ babies, I don’t feel like I have any strong connection to him. It feels amazing to see him with his mummy and daddy.’
Surrounded by her husband Trent, expectant parents Kate and Kris and their doula, Michelle gave birth to Jack on the floor of the labour suite at 37 weeks and five days.
‘Kris got to cut his cord and I handed Jack to his mum just minutes after he was born. It was an incredible moment that still gives me goosebumps thinking about it. I couldn’t have asked for a better birth,’ Michelle said.
‘My whole birth team was incredible and gave me so much support during the whole labour and birth. I thought I would feel crowded but it was amazing to feel so much love and the energy in the room was electric.
‘We all held the space for each other and it was super important for me to have Kate and Kris there to watch the birth of their child. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the birth, it was absolutely incredible.’
Michelle turned to social media in 2017 to playfully advertise her ‘womb for rent’ in a bid to find the perfect couple who were desperate to fulfil their dream of being a family
Michelle gave birth to baby boy Jack on the floor of the labour suite, surrounded by Kate
The mother sharing a candid moment with expectant mother Kate during the pregnancy shoot
Michelle gave the couple the ultimate gift after she gave birth to their son Jack naturally
Michelle said her immediate thought the moment she saw Jack for the first time was he looked exactly like his mother Kate.
‘As soon as I saw Jack I was just amazed that he was here and that he looked just like Kate. I just kept looking up at Kate and kept repeating “he looks like you”,’ she said.
‘It was so bizarre to hold this baby that looked nothing like me or my own kids but it was so beautiful to see Kate and Kris finally lay eyes on their baby.
‘I was just so happy for them.’
Michelle said she was inspired to become a surrogate mother after watching Phoebe on Friends offered to help her brother Frank and his older wife Alice become parents.
And the doting mother-of-two she wanted to do the same by helping the childless couple experience the joys of parenthood.
Under surrogacy arrangements in Australia, surrogates cannot receive financial compensation for carrying someone else’s child.
‘I’m just so happy to be able to share the joy and to see them become a family. I was lucky enough to have incredible pregnancies so it was such a gift to be able to experience that again, while helping someone else,’ Michelle said.
‘Their gratitude and friendship has been the greatest reward.’
Surrounded by her husband Trent, expectant parents Kate and Kris and their doula, Michelle gave birth to Jack on the floor of the labour suite at 37 weeks and five days
After more than a one year surrogacy legal process, Michelle fell pregnant following two egg collections and three embryo transfers
The selfless mother has been visiting the family-of-three at least once a week so she could drop off the express breast milk she pumps for them
After more than a one year surrogacy legal process, Michelle fell pregnant following two egg collections and three embryo transfers.
‘Once we were actually pregnant it seemed to go so smoothly and fast,’ she said.
‘I had a bit of morning sickness early on but nothing too unbearable and luckily I had my husband supporting me and picking up the slack with taking care of our own kids. This felt like my easiest pregnancy, with my kids being a bit older and in school.
‘I got to really enjoy the pregnancy in its entirety, without having to worry about preparing for a new baby. It went way too quickly and felt like it was over in a flash.’
Since welcoming Jack into the world, Michelle said she now considers Kate and Kris as great friends who she speaks to nearly every day.
The selfless mother has been visiting the family-of-three at least once a week so she could drop off the express breast milk she pumps for them.
‘I’ve actually been really enjoying pumping, it’s so cool to see all of this liquid gold. Kate and Kris are super thankful for every bag I give them and there has been no pressure for me to continue which makes it so much easier,’ Michelle said.
Michelle said she was inspired to become a surrogate mother after watching Phoebe on Friends offered to help her brother Frank and his older wife Alice become parents
Mother and son: Kate cradling her bundle of joy after welcoming Jack into the world in March
Happy families! Michelle and her husband Trent with their two children daughter Leilani, 5, and son Issac, 3, as well as Kate and her partner Kris
Despite her gracious act, Michelle said she doesn’t plan on becoming a surrogate mother again after experiencing complications with the placenta during birth.
She was required to undergo surgery for a retained placenta after she suffered a severe postpartum haemorrhage, which led to a two-day stay in ICU.
‘As much as I would have loved to do it all again given my amazing pregnancy and our beautiful birth, the complications after have put a stopper on future journeys,’ Michelle said.
‘It wouldn’t be fair to my husband or my children to go through such a rollercoaster again. My husband has been the real unsung hero in all of this and his support means everything to me.
‘It’s been so wonderful to be able to share our story and the journey to baby Jack’s life. I hope others can find joy and inspiration from it.’
To follow their journey, please visit Michelle Griffin’s Instagram.