More often than not, life doesn't go according to our plans. But Susie and Tony Troxler are great examples of the fact that sometimes that's a good thing!
Now 50 and 61 years old, the couple got married a little over 13 years ago. They immediately began trying to naturally conceive a baby but never saw any results.
"When we got married, we just assumed we'd get pregnant, and then it didn't happen," Susie 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."
Other options were presented to Susie, however, when she went in for an annual exam with her new OBGYN. The two of them were introduced thanks to Tony getting hired in their 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 said. "Because she asked it, I mentioned that we hadn't gotten pregnant, and she said, 'OK, we can work on that.'"
Typically, her OBGYN, Dr. Carolyn Harraway-Smith, would refer a patient like Susie to a fertility specialist, but with such a short window of time due to Susie's age, she referred her to a reproductive endocrinologist. There, Susie discovered that she had fibrosis and endometriosis.
In 2019, she had surgery to remove the fibrosis, only to be told that due to her and Tony's combined health complications and ages, they still wouldn't be able to conceive naturally. Still, Susie and Tony chose to try IVF, even knowing all of the risks involved and the chance of her not carrying to full term.
"He [the doctor] was very clear that this was going to be an uphill battle from the beginning," Susie said. "I had fibroid surgery January of 2019, went through the healing process, and then they collected egg after egg. I went through several rounds of egg retrieval and the insemination of eggs and none of it took. Nothing, nothing, nothing."
Next, they tried egg donation, which led to just two viable embryos. The first didn't take. Months later, the pandemic began, and what they viewed as their last chance at a natural birth stayed frozen as they waited for some restrictions to be lifted. As difficult as the wait — and the whole process up to this point — was, Susie and Tony's outlook kept them going.
"We weren’t waiting for our joy to happen once we had kids. We were in a place where if it turned out we never had children of our own, it would have been OK," Susie said. "We would not have liked it, but we would have been in a place of peace about it."
Finally, in February 2021, they were able to try with their last viable embryo. It was their last chance, but it was the only chance they needed.
"I don't even have words for it," Susie said.
After such a long, difficult journey to getting pregnant, Susie was blessed with a "pretty uneventful" pregnancy leading all the way up to her planned C-section on September 29, 2021... when Lily Antonia Troxler made her grand entrance into the world!
"Even now I find myself just staring at her," Tony said. "Before she was born, she had me wrapped around her pinky finger."
Susie added, "I don't even have the words, it's surreal. I still can't believe it. I spent so much time being me, first, and then being a wife. So now, this idea of being a mom is… it's still a 'wow' for me."
A few months have passed since Susie gave birth, and she and Tony are soaking in every single moment of their lives as brand new parents.
"I actually cherish those moments at three in the morning, when I’m sitting there rocking her and she’s sitting there looking at me with those bright eyes, not the least bit sleepy," Susie said. "Because you don’t get them back. So I’m determined to enjoy even the sleep deprivation, because it almost never happened."
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