Woman has first baby at 50 after more than a decade of trying to conceive

The mother tried IVF and a donated egg before she became pregnant

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 24 November 2021 22:03
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A woman from North Carolina gave birth to her first child at age 50 after experiencing years of infertility.

According to ABC News, Susie Troxler, a psychologist in High Point, North Carolina, gave birth to a daughter, Lily Antonia Troxler, on 29 September. She had been trying to conceive for more than a decade.

"It's really, really, really surreal," she told Good Morning America. "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."

Ms Troxler and her husband, Tony Troxler, married 13 years ago, and have been trying to have a baby ever since.

Despite their struggles, Ms Troxler never sought out the use of fertility clinics because she was not aware of the options available to women struggling to conceive a child.

"When we got married, we just assumed we'd get pregnant, and then it didn't happen," she 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."

She said that she first became aware of fertility treatments three years ago after she switched to a new OBGYN. Her doctors at Cone Health, a North Carolina health care network where her husband worked, asked her if she had any questions or issues she wanted to discuss.

"At the end of the appointment, she asked me a question nobody else had ever asked me: 'Is there anything else, any concerns or questions?,'" Ms Troxler said. "Because she asked it, I mentioned that we hadn't gotten pregnant, and she said, 'OK, we can work on that.'"

Her OBGYN, Dr Carolyn Harraway-Smith, immediately referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist. She said that had Ms Troxler been younger she may have tried to work up to infertility treatments, but recognised she had a "short window" for helping Ms Troxler and moved her immediately to a specialist.

After visiting the endrocrinologist, Ms Troxler was diagnosed with fibroids, which are generally benign tumors that grow on the walls of the uterus. She had them removed in 2019, but doctors said that she and her husband would still be unable to conceive naturally.

After several attempts at IVF, the Troxlers decided to try egg donation. Their first attempt failed, and the coronavirus put their second attempt off for a year. In February, the couple tried again, using a frozen viable embryo that they considered their last chance.

A few weeks later, Ms Troxler learned that it had worked. She was pregnant.

"It was amazing and surreal," Mr Troxler said, recalling the moment he learned he would become a father. Ms Troxler said she didn't "even have words for it."

On 29 September, Ms Troxler underwent a planned C-section and gave birth to her daughter.

"It was a beautiful and exciting and peaceful moment," Harraway-Smith said of Lily's delivery, during which she said Susie Troxler hummed a gospel song. "Everyone in the room was excited and she came out healthy and happy and was just a beautiful baby."

She now refers to her daughter as her "miracle baby."

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