Susie Troxler, 50, and her husband, Tony Troxler, 61, had wanted a baby since marrying 13 years ago. After almost a decade of trying, they are now parents to a healthy baby girl!
Susie, a psychologist in High Point, North Carolina, gave birth to their daughter, Lily Antonia Troxler, on September 29, 2021. The new mom said welcoming a child at her age felt “really surreal.”
“I’d been unmarried, I’d been a wife and now the idea of being a mommy, it still hasn’t sunk in I don’t think,” Susie said.
The couple had tried to have a baby since they got married but hadn’t been successful. They also never considered seeking fertility help simply because they didn’t know which options were available.
“When we got married, we just assumed we’d get pregnant, and then it didn’t happen,” Susie said. “But we’re both very old-school, and when we grew up, nobody even talked about or discussed IVF [in-vitro fertilization]. It wasn’t even a thing.”
But around three years ago, Susie went in for her annual check-up with Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, an OBGYN who was new to her. At the end of their appointment, the doctor asked her something she had never been asked before: “Is there anything else, any concerns or questions?”
She mentioned that they hadn’t gotten pregnant, and the OBGYN responded, “OK, we can work on that.”
Because of Susie’s age, Dr. Harraway-Smith knew she had a short window to conceive, so she immediately referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist.
The reproductive endocrinologist diagnosed her with fibroids, benign tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. According to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, they are most common in women in their 40s and early 50s.
Susie underwent surgery in January 2019 to remove the fibroids. However, she was told it would be impossible for her and Tony to get pregnant naturally because of her advanced age and her husband’s health complications.
Trying to get pregnant over the age of 35 is much more difficult and carries greater complications. The mother could experience gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, while the baby can be born prematurely and have birth defects.
Susie and Tony underwent multiple rounds of IVF but couldn’t produce a viable embryo, so they turned to egg donation.
The first embryo transfer happened in late 2019, but it didn’t take. And when the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in spring 2020, their plans for a family were put on hold for almost a year due to pandemic restrictions.
In February, the couple decided to try their last viable embryo, a frozen one, which they considered their last chance at having a baby.
Miraculously, they discovered Susie was pregnant several weeks later.
“I don’t even have words for it,” she said of her reaction to the pregnancy. On the other hand, Tony said learning he would be a first-time dad felt “amazing and surreal.”
Susie described her pregnancy as “pretty uneventful.” She had mild pregnancy symptoms and had no major medical complications.
On September 29, Susie went through a planned C-section led by Dr. Harraway-Smith. She hummed a gospel song during Lily’s delivery.
“Everyone in the room was excited and she came out healthy and happy and was just a beautiful baby,” the doctor recalled.
Now, the new sleep-deprived parents say they wouldn’t change anything for the world.
“Even now I find myself just staring at her,” Tony said. “Before she was born, she had me wrapped around her pinky finger.”
“I’m of the belief that kids come when they’re supposed to come, regardless of the age of the parents,” Susie added. “We look at it as this is exactly how it was meant to be. She’s our miracle baby.”
Learn more about this story from Susie and Tony themselves in the video below.
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