Rachel Dratch wasn’t trying to be a Debbie Downer by keeping mum about the identity of her baby’s father during her pregnancy. She was just trying to preserve his privacy.
But after giving birth to son Eli Benjamin on Aug. 24, the Saturday Night Live alum saw published reports about Eli’s “unknown” father – and before she knew it, there were theories flying left and right about who the mystery man could be.
“People are expecting the craziest story,” Dratch tells PEOPLE. “I just meant it’s crazy for me!”
Eli’s father, Dratch reveals to PEOPLE exclusively, is her boyfriend John Wahl, a California-based consultant to natural foods businesses. Dratch met him a year ago at a bar, and six months later – at age 43 – she was shocked to find herself pregnant.
“I had bought into all this stuff about, ‘Once you’re over 40…’ ” Dratch says of her chances of conception. “I’d gone through the whole process of letting go of [the idea of having kids].”
But today, she and Wahl – who has since moved to New York City to be closer to his girlfriend and 9-week-old son – are raising their baby together, and living a domestic life neither of them could have predicted.
“[Rachel] was resigned to the fact that this wasn’t going to happen and had written it off,” says Wahl, who was “completely floored” to hear that they were going to have a child. “That may add to the adrenaline and euphoria and excitement.”
As for the couple’s future, “the focus now is just surrounding Eli with love,” says Wahl. “But you never know!”
For more details about Dratch’s relationship – and exclusive photos of her with son Eli – pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday