A CLACTON woman who only had a "15 per cent chance of conceiving" has reflected on her journey to motherhood nearly a year on from giving birth. 

Gem Baker, 38, had always dreamed of being a mum but hadn't met the right man to start a family with, so she looked into using a sperm donation.

After being diagnosed with endometriosis in May 2017, she was told she only had a 35 per cent chance of conceiving and started looking into IVF.

She lost four stone to try and increase her chances of conception but was told at a fertility appointment she had a low egg count and just a 15 per cent chance of conceiving.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Happy together - Gem Baker and baby Clover-IrisHappy together - Gem Baker and baby Clover-Iris (Image: SWNS)

Undeterred, Gem raised £13,000 through a GoFundMe Page and funded the extra £4,500 through her savings and with help from her family.

After her second round of IVF in September 2022, Gem found out she was expecting and became a single mum by choice when she welcomed her little girl, Clover-Iris, in June 2023.

Clover-Iris is now 11 months old and her mum has described her as a "hilarious" toddler.

Gem said: "She's incredible and hilarious.

"She's very inquisitive and very clever - that must be her dad's brain.

"She's doing something new every day."

Gem managed to raise £13,000 in total from the GoFundMe Page, and was given £3,000 from her dad, Gary, 65, a construction contractor.

She also used £1,500 of her savings to pay for the IVF treatment.

Gem, a nursery manager, said: "I always wanted to be a mum.

"I hadn't found the right person. My chances were slim.

"I didn't have the biological clock to wait to find the perfect man.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Amazing - Gem Baker after giving birth to daughter Clover-Iris last yearAmazing - Gem Baker after giving birth to daughter Clover-Iris last year (Image: SWNS)

"Being a mum is exactly what I dreamt and more.

"I feel like she's always been here."

The cost of IVF treatment shocked Gem when she was learning about it.

She said: "I hit a brick wall.

"You don't realise how much money it costs until you look into it all.

"It's soul destroying."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Adorable - Baby Clover-IrisAdorable - Baby Clover-Iris (Image: SWNS)

Gem has also opened up about the process of choosing a sperm donor.

She added: "I wasn't incredibly fussy with sperm donors.

"I have got a thing for redhead guys - and managed to get one.

"It said a bit about his life. He is a baker, does charity work.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Delighted - a photo of Gem Baker whilst she was pregnantDelighted - a photo of Gem Baker whilst she was pregnant (Image: SWNS)

"I feel like he's a skinny man with curly red hair and a bit geeky."