Tragic news spread this week of the passing of Michelle Reaves, 36, who died on January 15 while giving birth as a surrogate. The 36-year-old San Diego resident is the mother of two young children, son Gage and daughter Monroe. This was Reaves’ second time acting as a surrogate for the same family.
After having her own children, Reaves and her husband, Chris, decided they wanted to help other families “have babies,” according to a GoFundMe page established to help the grieving family.
While the baby girl was delivered safely, Reaves suffered complications during delivery and did not survive. Per People magazine, “Though doctors managed to deliver the baby successfully, Michelle, who was on her second surrogacy for the same family, “fought for her life” until the end.”
Jaime Herwehe, who started a GoFundMe page for the family, stated there, “I can’t even begin to imagine what her husband Chris and her two babies are going through. Herwehe said of Reaves, “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.”
Herwehe continued, “Michelle has the best, most sarcastic, funny personality and always had you laughing.”
According to the CDC, approximately 700 US women die each year “as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications.” That number is up from previous years. Pregnancy-related deaths have risen from 7.2 percent per 100,00 live births in 1987 to 17.8 percent in 2011, giving the United States the highest maternal mortality rate among any other developed country.
On GoFundMe Herwehe’s reaction echoed that of others who left best wishes for the family. “You hear about these things happening all of the time but never in your life imagine it will happen to you…,” she said. “No one deserves to lose their mama so young or the mother of their children.”