Rachel Dratch Reveals Her Son Eli’s Father

10/27/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Steven A Henry/WireImage

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!”

— Lesley Messer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 13 comments

L.A. on

So cute, Love it! And everyone thought it was a sperm donor 🙂

meghan on

Aww! It’s nice to know that some surprises are good! Congratulations Rachel and John!

Lorus on

What a wonderful surprize for her!

marina on

she is very sweet, I’m glad that she is happy!

MiB on

What a lovely story! It suddenly reminded me of the lovely story about a colleagues sister, who in her 20’s had been told that she would never be able to have biological children, dealt with the loss and spent 15 years devoted to improving orphanages in eastern Europe. She then came “back home” in her late 30’s (I think she was 38 or 39), met a man and got quite shocked to discover that what she had thought was a food intolerance or possibly IBS was actually a pregnancy!

I wish Rachel, John and Eli all the best!

stacey on

No offense, but this is newsworthy? Who cares who the father is, except for her – let this woman enjoy her life!!

ab on

lol! I’m glad I’m not a celebrity. here she was just trying to respect his privacy since he’s not in the business and people start coming up with all sorts of crazy stories!

Molly on

Stacey I read the worst comments about who the father was. Some left hateful comments about she got artificial insemination because there was no way a man would be with her :/

Terri on

I think she’s pretty cute, but hey, what do I know? Congrats to the happy family.

LisaS on

Yay! I loved Rachel on SNL and miss the days when she and the other gals seemed to rule the show. I looked forward to her, Amy, Maya, and Tina more than the men, and before that, it was Cheri, Ana, and Molly. I don’t think I even know any of the new cast from the last few years.

I think Rachel’s cute and funny, and I was surprised at some of the horrible comments that were posted on here when she said that there was a crazy story behind her pregnancy.

Anyway, congrats to Rachel and her boyfriend on their new baby boy! I’m so happy for them, and I can’t wait to see a pic of him.

meghan on

I love Rachel! SNL hasn’t been the same since she and her era of cast members left. I saw her on Nate Berkus right before Eli was born and Nate was helping to turn half her bedroom into a nursery. When the workers came in to start setting up the baby furniture, she was so excited and said “I never thought someone would be setting up a crib in my bedroom!” She was just so excited. It’s nice to see her so happy!

MiB on

@Megan, oh, that is so sweet! It always warms my heart when someone has given up hope of ever having a child (wether biological or adopted) has her, or his, dream fulfilled.

Jacqui on

Stacey, it’s not like this story is on the cover of The New York Times. Yes, it is of interest on a site about celebrities and their babies!