November 02, 2010 03:00 PM

Rachel Dratch’s pregnancy was a surprise to her and her boyfriend John Wahl — and her Aug. 24 delivery was no different.

“I went for a routine visit and they said my fluid was low,” the comedienne, 44, recalls. “It was a month in advance, so I didn’t even have a bag packed! I had to go in that night. It was a big shock.”

“I was about to get on a plane!” laughs Wahl, 42, who moved to New York to be close to his new family. “But I was in the room with her when he was born. To be part of the whole process was fantastic.”

Ben Hoffmann

Today, 10-week-old Eli Benjamin — “We just liked the name,” Dratch says, adding that her grandfather was called Benjamin — is getting acclimated to life with his new family, in a nursery designed by Nate Berkus.

Because Dratch’s apartment only has one bedroom, Berkus was able to divide the space with a partition so that it appears to be two rooms.

“It came out really well — it doesn’t look like it’s shoved in the corner,” Dratch says. “Eventually I’ll have to move, I guess, but he did a good job.”

The unique set-up also helps with late night feedings.

“It stuns me how tireless she is. He’s up at 3:30 in the morning and she’s up and at ’em,” marvels Wahl of his girlfriend. “This love for Eli is trumping everything! I’m not exaggerating: she says four to five times a day, ‘He’s so beautiful.'”

Confirms Dratch: “This has taught me [that] you never know. I feel super lucky.”

Ben Hoffmann

It’s a feeling she’s come to know well over the whirlwind of the past year, choosing to keep a sense of humor about the situations their circumstances have placed them in — including telling their parents about the pregnancy.

“I almost felt like Juno or something,” laughs Dratch. “[John] thought his parents might be disappointed in him, but it was the reverse. They were instantly on board.”

“[My parents] looked kind of concerned — they’d never met John,” she continues. “But today, they’re so psyched. This is their first grandkid!”

Ben Hoffmann


— Lesley Messer

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