As she approached her 50th birthday, Kelly Clarke knew “time was not on her side” and made the decision to fly to Athens, Greece, in March 2020 for an I.V.F
A single 51-year-old woman has made her dreams come true after welcoming a baby girl through I.V.F.
Kelly Clarke, 51, had her daughter Lyla Rae Clarke, now seven months, ᴠɪᴀ ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ on March 31 ᴡᴇɪɢʜɪɴɢ 7lbs 8oz, at Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex. With help for the first two weeks from her mum, Barbara, 74 and sister, Jenny, 48, Kelly and Lyla are now taking on life just the two of them.
Despite the challenges of being a single parent, she says she is “constantly overwhelmed with the joy of finally being a mum”.
Kelly was known among friends for being great with kids and always wanted to be a mum but had been unlucky in love. As she approached her 50th birthday, Kelly knew ‘time was not on her side’ and made the decision to fly to Athens, Greece, in March 2020 for an I.V.F consultation on recommendation from a friend.
She was met with a ‘huge amount of ʀᴇsɪsᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ’ from family at the thought of being an ᴏʟᴅᴇʀ ᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜsɪɴɢ ᴀ sᴘᴇʀᴍ ᴅᴏɴᴏʀ to welcome a child – but knew that being a mum was what she wanted.
In July 2020, Kelly flew back to Athens for the Fᴇʀᴛɪʟɪsᴇᴅ ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ to be implanted, before taking a pregnancy test 12 days later to find out the I.V.F had been successful – and she was pregnant. Now having just celebrated her 51st birthday – and her first as a mother – Kelly said it was the ‘best birthday ever’ with the addition of her pride and joy, Lyla.
“I still can’t quite believe it and am constantly overwhelmed with the joy of finally being a mum at 51. She’s the perfect baby – I couldn’t ask for anything more.” she said
Kelly made contact with I.V.F Serum, a fertility clinic in Athens, who arranged an initial video call before inviting her to the clinic in March 2020.
“I did it all by myself, I didn’t tell anyone I was going. The team there looked after me so well, I felt like I was the only person they were dealing with.”Kelly said
Just 12 days after the ᴘʀᴏᴄᴇᴅᴜʀᴇ Kelly took a ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ ᴛᴇsᴛ which revealed it had been a success and she was pregnant.
“I’d been met with a huge amount of ʀᴇsɪsᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ from family for deciding to become a single mum at 50, because they were worried about me and the ɪᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs ᴏF ᴜsɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴅᴏɴᴏʀ – but in that moment I knew I’d made the right decision,” Kelly said.
In total, she spent around £4,000, which ɪɴᴄʟᴜᴅᴇᴅ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, Fᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴅʀᴜɢs, Fʟɪɢʜᴛs ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴄᴄᴏᴍᴍᴏᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴ – ᴄᴏɴsɪᴅᴇʀᴀʙʟʏ ᴄʜᴇᴀᴘᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ in the UK, which Kelly was told could cost up to £15,000.
Her daughter Lyla Rae arrived at 5.26pm ᴡᴇɪɢʜɪɴɢ 7lbs 8oz, and after a two day stay in hospital for checks, Kelly was able to take her little girl home.