After Years of Infertility, This First-Time Mom Gave Birth at 50
Susie Troxler and her husband, Tony, dreamed of having a baby when they first got married. They just never knew how long that journey would be. After struggling for years with infertility, Susie thought her dream was lost — but then she found hope in a new OB/GYN. What happened next gave the couple their miracle baby!
Susie and Tony’s Story
Susie, a 50-year-old psychologist living in High Point, North Carolina, always thought she and her husband Tony, 61, would be able to conceive naturally. “When we got married, we just assumed we’d get pregnant, and then it didn’t happen,” she told Good Morning America. “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.”
Without understanding their options, the couple struggled alone for 13 years. But everything changed when Susie visited a different OB/GYN at Cone Health, a health care network where Tony works in the security department. Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, Cone Health’s chief medical officer, took care of Susie during her annual checkup.
“Near the end of my appointment, Dr. Harraway-Smith asked, ‘Is there anything else?’” Troxler told Cone Health. “If she hadn’t asked that question, then this baby probably wouldn’t be here.”
Susie told Dr. Harraway-Smith she had always wanted to become a mother, but she and Tony had never been able to get pregnant. Dr. Harraway-Smith let Susie know that not all was lost — she had options. After discussing it with Tony as well, the group decided to try out IVF. Dr. Harraway-Smith quickly referred Susie to a reproductive endocrinologist (a doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility).
Seeing an infertility specialist was just the beginning.
The reproductive endocrinologist diagnosed Susie with fibroids, or noncancerous tumors that typically grow in the uterine walls and push out into the pelvis. Women who are nearing menopause are at the highest risk for fibroids, and they are more common in Black women than white women.
In January 2019, Susie had surgery to remove the fibroids, but still couldn’t get pregnant naturally, due to her age and her husband’s health factors. Susie went through several rounds of IVF. When she and Tony learned that they could not produce a viable embryo, they opted to try egg donation. The first embryo transfer in 2019 was unsuccessful.
One Last Try
In February 2021, Susie and Tony decided to give it one more try, with their last viable embryo. Several weeks later, they found out something they could barely believe: Susie was pregnant! “It was amazing and surreal,” Tony told GMA.
On September 29, Dr. Harraway-Smith led Susie’s planned C-section. “It’s always a treat when I can manage a pregnancy and complete the delivery, but this was extra special,” Dr. Harraway-Smith told Cone Health. “As I was starting the C-section, Susie was humming a gospel song that I am very familiar with. I knew we were both in good hands.”
Finally, after 13 years, the couple held their miracle baby. “We’re just honored to be the parents of somebody like her and have the chance to watch all of this unfold … Medically, this was impossible, but she’s here,” Susie added.
The Troxlers are soaking up every minute with their two-month-old daughter, Lily Antonia. “Even now I find myself just staring at her,” Tony told GMA. “Before she was born, she had me wrapped around her pinky finger.”