Having a baby is an incredible experience. All at once, you have a little bundle of joy in your life that you love unconditionally and would do literally anything for. So when 50-year-old Susie Troxler gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, her husband Tony noticed something crazy. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and for husband and wife Susan and Tony, life really had gotten away from them.
This couple from North Carolina had been happily married for 13 years, building a home together, traveling, and doing all the things that happy couples usually do. But there’s one thing that the pair hadn’t been able to achieve: having children. Raising children had always been a shared dream of theirs, but after years and years of trying, they had still been unable to get pregnant. This sad and unfortunate twist meant that they felt like their lives and their family weren’t quite complete.
Tony had always dreamt of being a father to a little girl, and Susie was more than happy to give him that child, or try at least. Because despite their best efforts, they were still childless. They decided to take a more scientific approach. Susie had her eggs harvested and they were artificially mixed with Tony’s sperm in a laboratory. In vitro fertilization, also known as IVF for short, is a tried and tested method of ensuring that an egg is properly fertilized. Unfortunately, even this failed due to them discovering Susie had underlying fertility issues. This is what prevented them from conceiving naturally.
Thankfully, this couple was not going to be beaten. They were desperate for a child and longed to become parents. So, they searched for women who were happy to donate their eggs. They could then go through the same IVF process of artificially fertilizing these eggs, which could be then planted into Susie’s uterus where they would grow and eventually be born. But out of the many eggs that were fertilized, only two produced any results being viable to grow into a real baby. So, Susie was implanted with one of the fertilized eggs, and for a while, it seemed like things were looking up. That is until they weren’t. The fertilized egg didn’t take in Susie’s uterus and was rejected by her body. This was another huge blow in a long line of painful blows.
But Tony convinced Susie not to give up. Something had to work, right? There was one viable donated egg left, so they surely owed it to themselves to try one last time. So that’s exactly what they did. With fading hope of anything actually happening, the couple had the one last fertilized egg implanted, and they waited. They waited to see what would happen next. They waited to see if Susie’s body would accept it, and they waited to see if there was any hope left at all. They waited because that’s all they could do.
“We’d gone through it,” said Susie about the long battle, and when I say it, I mean it. I can totally understand how it can be a frustratingly long and grueling process. But someone must have been looking down on Tony and Susie and smiling because they soon found out that the egg had started implanting, and they were finally pregnant.
Elated at the news, they had possibly the most cautious pregnancy ever, all in hopes that nothing was going to go wrong. Susie ate properly, she exercised, she did everything that a good expecting mother should do to ensure the health of the baby that was growing inside of her. And then finally, the day came that Susie went into labor.
While labor is never a walk in the park, the birthing process happened fairly quickly and easily, and before too long, they welcomed the beautiful little baby girl into the world, Lily. She was happy, healthy, and strong, and Susie and Tony couldn’t have been happier. In fact, I’m fairly sure they were probably the proudest parents on the planet.
Holding his new daughter, Tony remembered back to his wish of having his own beautiful baby girl one day, someone he could help raise, someone he could look after, take to her dance recitals, and do all kinds of fun awesome things with. All his dreams and all his prayers had come through. His family was complete at long last.
Speaking about that special moment, Tony said, “I was holding this child. She was in a pink onesie, and it’s like I’d never loved anything so much.” Much like something from a Disney movie, it really was love at first sight. Tony knew that he, Susie, and now little baby Lily were going to be alright.
But then Tony noticed something crazy, something that hadn’t occurred to neither him nor Susie. He noticed that time really had flown, and he quickly realized that he wasn’t the young man that he once was. He was, in fact, now 61 years old. Both he and Susie had spent so many years trying for a baby and building the life of their dreams that they didn’t realize time was slipping away from them, and they were, in fact, old parents.
The average age that someone becomes a parent is around 30 to 34 years old, and Tony was pretty much double that. He began to wonder how he’d do all the things he wanted to do with his daughter and even thought about his own mortality and how long he’d be around to help raise Lily. This kind of realization really will give you an existential crisis.
But with Susie’s love and support, Tony started to turn this thought process around, reframing things in his own head. He looked at the positives. He still felt younger than he was. He had the strength and energy of a man half his age and built up a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom to eventually impart to Lily.
Now, babies are hard work. Anyone that’s had a baby or even just looked after a baby for a while can attest to that fact. They scream, they cry, they poop, they eat. In short, they’re a handful. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to bring a child into the world and look after it. But having a baby isn’t always as easy as you might think, and at the age of 61, you’d think that someone wouldn’t want that kind of hassle in their life anymore.
But Tony threw himself in two feet first, finding that he really did enjoy the challenge of being a father. And that’s not to underplay Susie’s importance because she was a workhorse too. Despite being 50, she understood Tony’s reservations and hang-ups about being a father at 61 and reassured him that they’d be absolutely fine. Just because they were old doesn’t mean you have to act that way. After all, age is only a number, and that’s the kind of mindset both Tony and Susie had going forward: act young, stay young.
They did everything that young parents do, from getting up during the night, changing diapers, feeding, cleaning, and they even did something that younger parents can’t do. They set themselves up with a presence on social media to help out other people that had become parents later on in their life or had been struggling to conceive. Through their platform, they shared videos, photos, and most importantly, advice on getting through life as an older-than-average parent.
What they didn’t expect,
though, was for things to go viral. Their story was picked up by local news outlets and it quickly spread around the world. Their uplifting message of hope and love hit a nerve with parents old and young, and soon enough, the family became unlikely internet icons that were being recognized while out and about in the streets.
And on top of that, Lily became the poster child of hope for those that had not yet been able to conceive a child. As we explained earlier, things weren’t easy or straightforward for this family, but miracles can and do happen every single day. Lily is a testament to that uplifting fact.
But internet famous aside, Tony and Susie’s journey of becoming parents at such a startling age is one that blows our minds. So, as Tony and Susie have proven, you’re never too old to start a family. Without their perseverance, determination, and courage, they wouldn’t have had little Lily in their life. Some people might say that their age means they shouldn’t have a child, but why should that stop anyone from bringing a beautiful baby into this world? After all, as the Beatles put it, all you need is love.