Single woman, 51, gives birth to first child via IVF

A woman who has longed to become a mother has given birth to her first child at the age of 51

Kelly Clarke, from West Sussex, gave birth to daughter Lyla Rae in March 2021 by caesarian at the Princess Royal Hospital, in Haywards Heath, weighing 7llbs 8ozs.

She told the Mirror she had wanted to become a mother for a long time but had never met the right person to share her life with, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Just before she reached her 50th birthday she made the decision to fly to Athens, in Greece, to have an IVF consultation after a recommendation from a friend.

She said when she told her family, they were not particularly supportive of her choice of wanting to be a single mother at the age of 51 by using a sperm donor. But she felt it was the right thing to do.

She recently celebrated her birthday and said Lyla is the ‘best birthday present she could have wished for’.

Kelly said: “Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I’ve always wanted to be a mum.

“I still can’t quite believe it and am constantly overwhelmed with the joy of finally being a mum at 51.

“She is the perfect baby – I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Kelly has enjoyed a successful career as a cabin crew with well-known airlines and a high-profile role at Gatwick Airport but felt something was missing from her life.

She said a friend of a friend had been to Athens and had the best experience.

Kelly travelled to Athens several times for IVF treatment and after having her embryo transfer, she discovered she was pregnant 12 days later.

She used an egg donor and sperm donor and said she will be happy to explain her daughter’s conception when the time is right.

She said: “I did the whole treatment by myself. My sister knew and I told my parents I was thinking of going for IVF.

“The team at IVF Serum, in Athens, looked after me so well, I felt like I was the only person they were dealing with.”

But she admits it is hard being a single mum in her 50s.

“I managed to become a mother despite all the odds. My parents were so against it – they were convinced I would lose my job, struggle financially, and worry for my health.

“They were worried I wouldn’t be able to cope if it wasn’t successful because they knew how much I wanted to be a mum. It never crossed my mind that it wouldn’t work. I had a feeling.

“Now that Lyla is here they are incredibly supportive and couldn’t be better grandparents. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

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