Susie and Tony Troxler will celebrate their first Thanksgiving this year as parents, and they are doing so at the age of 50 and 61, respectively.
Susie Troxler, a psychologist in High Point, North Carolina, gave birth to their daughter, Lily Antonia Troxler, on Sept. 29, 2021, after just over a decade of trying to get pregnant.
“It’s really, really, really surreal,” she said of welcoming a daughter at age 50. “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.”
The Troxlers had tried to have a baby since marrying 13 years ago, but were never able to naturally conceive.
Susie Troxler said that for both she and her husband, seeking fertility help was not something they considered, simply because they did not know what options existed.
“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.”
That changed around three years ago, when Susie Troxler went in for her annual exam with a new-to-her OBGYN at Cone Health, a North Carolina-based health care network where Tony had recently been hired in the security department.
“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?,'” Susie Troxler recalled. “Because she asked it, I mentioned that we hadn’t gotten pregnant, and she said, ‘OK, we can work on that.'”
The OBGYN, Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, Cone Health’s chief medical officer for women’s health, referred her immediately to a fertility specialist.
“Typically, if someone was younger and had a longer period of time to conceive, I would start the work-up for infertility,” said Harraway-Smith. “Because of her age, I knew we had a short window, so I referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist.”