YouTube star and social media maven GloZell Green has made headlines with her hilarious spoofs of Top 40 lyrics, attempts at viral challenges (cinnamon and Kylie Jenner, most notably), and of course, her signature bright, glittery green lipstick. But now, GloZell—who has amassed 4.2 million YouTube subscribers over the years—is embarking on brand-new territory: parenthood. And staying true to character, she's decided to document her entire journey online.
Parents.com chatted with GloZell about her new series, and she gave us the exclusive on everything from her relationship with her surrogate, Shawna Johnson, to the parenting milestone she's most excited to experience.
Parents.com: Can you tell us a little bit about your unique journey to becoming a mom?
GloZell Green: Well, I realized that I wasn't getting pregnant, so I went to the first fertility doctor and she couldn't help me. The second fertility doctor, he couldn't help me. The third fertility doctor, he couldn't help me. The problem more so was my age, as most [doctors] don't deal with someone over 40 with fertility issues because the odds are that it won't end up in a successful, healthy pregnancy. Most doctors want to keep their success rates high, so they'd rather deal with someone who is younger, who has healthier eggs and more of them. So I posted on Facebook what was happening with the doctors, and my friend Wendi Wilson Miller from Gifted Journeys Surrogacy saw it and said she knew a doctor who could help and that's how I ended up with Dr. Bradford Kolb, who said he'd try. That was the break I needed.
P: What was it like when you first learned your surrogate Shawna was pregnant?
GG: I was always hopeful, but it was still very shocking! We'd come so far and it took so many people to get there.... It was a lot of wishing and hoping and praying, but here we are. Shawna was willing to carry [my biological child with my husband Kevin "SK" Simon]. There's not enough money in the world to repay her for what she's doing for us. She didn't ask us what religion we were, she didn't care what race we were. She's truly an amazing person who wanted to help us.
P: Your relationship with Shawna is an important component of the docuseries. How would you describe that bond?
GG: She told me that if she got pregnant she would play my videos so that the baby would know my name. How could you not instantly love someone who's willing to make such sacrifices for you? Shawna is so selfless and wonderful.
P: You were diagnosed with endometriosis in 2013. What would you tell someone who is dealing with a similar medical issue?
GG: That it's not the end of the world; you just have to work around the limitations of it. It helps to know that there's a name for it, that you're not crazy, and that it is a real issue.
P: You recently found out you're having a girl—congratulations! What are the three most important lessons you will teach your daughter?
G: If your knowledge is in your hands and in your mind, then nobody can take it away from you. Be kind and be on time! You never know who you're talking to—the waitress today could be the producer tomorrow, so it pays to be kind to everyone. As for [being] on time, I've gotten great jobs and opportunities because I was on time.
P: Who are your parenting heroes?
GG: My parenting heroes are the Obamas! They've been married for so long and it looks like they're having fun and their kids are down to earth, well-adjusted, and smart. They seem to have a strong family unit that I would like to emulate in my life.
P: What do you anticipate being the hardest part of parenthood?
GG: All of it because I feel like if I could wait another 10 years, I would. I feel too young to have kids! I really don't feel like I know what I'm doing. My goal is to keep the child alive. Once she starts talking, I'll listen, but I know that I'll need to join some mommy groups and ask people for help.
P: What are you most looking forward to in parenthood?
GG: I'm excited to learn what message my daughter has for me because she really wants to be here! We went through a course of three [IVF] shots a day for two weeks for five months to finally get enough embryos to implant into Shawna. This is a soul who really wants to be here and I'm looking forward to meeting her!
P: What do you hope parents—whether they've experienced infertility issues or not—take away from your story?
GG: I didn't know that I was supposed to be embarrassed about infertility, but so many women have come forward since I went public and shared their own issues with me even though they were scared or embarrassed. If you have fertility issues or need help with parenting, don't be afraid to ask for help! If more of us went public with our stories, it would help support other women with similar issues.