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Published on November 04, 2021

First-Time Mom, Age 50, Celebrates ‘Miracle Baby’

This couple followed their dream of parenthood “all the way to the end.”

GREENSBORO – The joy of becoming a parent is indescribable, but becoming a first-time parent at the age of 50? There really aren’t words for that. 

“It was so surreal,” said Susie Troxler, 50. “Everything had come together for that moment to happen. It’s hard to wrap our heads around – we’re no longer just husband and wife, we’re ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy.’”

Troxler and husband Tony, 61, gave birth to Lily Antonia Troxler on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The couple, together 13 years, had always wanted a child, but it just never happened. Everything changed the day Troxler met with Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, Cone Health’s chief medical officer for women’s health, during an annual checkup.

“Near the end of my appointment, Dr. Harraway-Smith asked, ‘Is there anything else,’” Troxler said. “If she hadn’t asked that question, then this baby probably wouldn’t be here.”

In that moment, Troxler told Harraway-Smith about her desire to be a mother and about the challenges she and her husband faced in becoming parents. Harraway-Smith walked Troxler through her options and, together, the group decided to try in-vitro fertilization.

The couple went through the process for two years without luck. Then, with just one embryo left, they conceived. That two-year journey that began with a question ended with Harraway-Smith personally delivering Lily.

“It’s always a treat when I can manage a pregnancy and complete the delivery, but this was extra special,” she said. “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.”

After an emotional two years, the couple’s dedication to each other and their dream finally paid off, as they held their “miracle baby” in the delivery room.

“We’re just honored to be the parents of somebody like her and have the chance to watch all of this unfold because medically this was impossible, but she’s here,” Susie said.

Although they are joyful beyond belief, the couple isn’t at all surprised that their dream came true.

“We knew eventually we would have kids,” said Tony, a security team lead at Cone Health’s Moses Cone Hospital and the Women & Children’s Center. “We wouldn’t give up. We had that faith. We dreamed of her. We knew no matter how it was going to happen, that it was going to happen.”

This might never have happened, however, if Susie hadn’t opened up to Harraway-Smith at the end of that appointment. The couple had never been asked about their desire to be parents before.

“I was disappointed to hear her say that no one had ever queried them or given them their options for fertility,” Harraway-Smith said. “I would advise anyone who wants to conceive to speak to your provider and let them know your concerns and future goals for planning a family.” 

Today, the Troxlers are home with their “little warrior princess,” who’s already smiling and showing she has an inquisitive mind. The couple hopes their story might inspire others.

“After you do your homework, just go for it,” Susie said. “You never know what life will unfold for you. The last thing you want is to say, ‘I’m too old.’ You don’t want that to be the end of any dream. Follow your dreams all the way to the end.”