Rachel Dratch Introduces Son Eli Benjamin

11/02/2010 at 03:00 PM ET

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

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 66 comments

HunnyBun on

She’s right! He is a beautiful baby…awwwww 2 cute

Kris on

Cute baby! Babies are the best thing and bring so much joy! Congratualtions to them!

Steph on

Congratulations!! A baby is a life changing experience and it’s wonderful that you get this chance. Enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast!!

sunny on

He looks like his Mommy, from what I can tell:). Congratulations…he’s adorable!

Sarah on

So sweet. I love that he shares the bedroom. It’s nice to see that not every celebrity has giant nurseries for their babies. Very tastefully done.

Lorelei on

She looks so happy and that precious baby is beautiful!

michelle on

Congrats to Rachel and John! He’s adorable and so is his nursery. It’s impressive that they chose to make the space they had work. Not everyone needs a mansion and a nursery the size of a football field to be happy. Cozy is good and green yet too!

Shannon on

Eli is really cute and Rachel is glowing!

LisaS on

Ohhhh! He really is gorgeous. And Rachel is just glowing; she looks so happy and content. Being a mother really suits her.

I just love these pics, and the article was great fun to read. She has such a wonderful sense of humor, and her boyfriend seems pretty funny himself. =)

Tammy on

I had my one and only child when I was 39. The joy of having a baby when you didn’t think you ever would or could is unexplainable. I know how she feels. I’m very happy for her and her son is beautiful!

Jennifer on

Super cute and I love that she’s so down to earth about it all (except the Nate Berkus bit but you can’t win em all!)

Karen on

He’s precious and she looks great!!

auroramia on

I’ll say she’s glowing. She looks AMAZING in those phots. Mommyhood does her good. I love the name 🙂

Lillianne on

He’s cute as he can be. Room looks nice too.

leslieD on

Congratulations to Rachel–love her–best to the beautiful family.

M on

He’s a precious cutie.

Meg on

He’s sweet-looking, cute and precious.

SC on

Congrats! He is beautiful! Much happiness to the new family!

Mary on

This story just warms my heart and makes me smile…somehow it just seems right and meant to be! I am so happy for you, Rachel and John…you were given a beautiful gift, Eli, and you welcomed him with open arms and wide-eyed excitement and anticipation. Beautiful!

God’s blessings to all of you as you watch him grow…no matter what happens, I have a feeling you will both love your son the way you are supposed to-and then some! You are all so lucky to have each other!

Mickie on

How adorable! I just love seeing stories like this here.

Kate on

This story warmed my heart. Rachel looks beautiful – she looks like she was meant to be a mother! And Eli is gorgeous.

t on

He is absolutely adorable and she looks FANTASTIC, so happy!

Diane on

What an adorable baby! I love his little feet, LOL. Rachel looks so happy and since not everyone in “the biz” is wealthy, it’s nice to see someone down-to-earth and keeping it real. Mazel Tov Rachel.

Sharon on

He is absolutely adorable! Congratulations, Rachel! THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful son, Eli! xox

molly on

Everything about this story just warms my heart; she seems so down-to-earth and meant to be a mother and the nursery is perfect. I mean, what does a baby need more than to be next to his parents for late night feedings and cuddles? And I love how she took the news with humor and grace, just like you would expect from the Rachel Dratch we know from SNL! Congrats to the family- they are beautiful!

Marie on

Rachel, you look radiant! Just saw you on tv last night and want you to know how talented I think you are. A born comedianne. Couldn’t be happier for you and your family.

Julia on

I bet you’ll have a wonderfully funny family life. Congrats.

Janice Pielert on

Yeah for Rachel and Eli! Can you imagine how much fun that boy will have growing up with a mother like her? Constant smiles! He’s one lucky boy and she’s one lucky mama! Congratulations!

Pam on

I read this story yesterday on the mag. Congrats Rachel your baby is adorable! and much blessings and happyness to your family.

leanne on

I walked past her a couple of days ago and she was absolutely glowing. Beautiful and radiant!
Congrats to Rachel and John!

Lynne on

She looks lovely. Always loved her on SNL. Baby is very sweet. Nice story. She seems down to earth and I like that.

Erin on

Rachel looks lovely and her baby boy is adorable. That first picture is one that many of us have – it combines the excitement, exhaustion, pride, terror, joy and calm that being a new mom visits upon you! I hope she frames it and cherishes it forever. Good luck to Rachel, John and Eli!

Emma on

I’m so happy for Rachel!! I’ve been a big fan of hers for a long time, and she seems like a lovely lady. She also looks absolutely beautiful for having just had a baby.

I know what it’s like to have what’s considered an “unconventional” pregnancy where people can be so judgemental about not being married and so on and so forth. I had only been with my son’s father for 1 month when my precious son was conceived, and people were at times harsh and judemental. I for one think this makes no difference when there is love for the child, and this absolutely is apparent in Rachel’s case. Congrats Rachel!! Your son is beautiful!!

Jenna on

Congratulations Rachel from a fellow Lexingtonian! So happy for you and yours. Enjoy!

anna on

Cute baby and loved her debbie downer on snl. congrats!!

Marla on

What a gorgeous little boy! I love the first picture, in particular. And I’ve noticed that couples who have a good sense of humor make really great parents. There are so many times when you stare at the chaos that children can bring into your life and you just have to laugh and enjoy the ride. All the best to Rachel, her boyfriend and baby.

lil on

Love the name. Mom and baby are gorgeous.

SarahS. on

What a cutie pie Eli is…congrats to Rachel and John! 🙂

Shannon on

He is definitely not a “now that’s a baby”! What a handsome baby boy, Rachel you are so blessed 🙂

PinBox on

Absolutely adorable baby! I can feel Rachel’s love shining through the photograph. Congrats to Mom & Dad on this happy new addition 🙂

David on

beautiful kid, beautiful mom! Congrats all round.

Vinaya on


Tee on

Eli Benjamin, a beautiful name for a beautiful baby! His little nursery is perfect and I love the tiny footprint photograph on the wall!

frannie on

Rachel and Eli look great. I love the name Eli. I couldn’t imagine sharing a room with my son but Nate did make the nursey look fabulous!

Karen Dailey on

I like both pictures of Rachel. Any new mom is seen wearing both looks all day long. One being complete happiness, the other is still digesting the shock of the reality of parenting a child for real. It is a crazy feeling.

Mia on

Eli is one of my favorite names + this little guy is a cutie for sure-Congrats to them!!

Diane on

Rachel is radiant and Eli is Beeeauuuuuuuuutiful! What a lil blessing and she was meant to be a mother 🙂 Love the pics and his baby bungalow is perfect. So happy for their little family! Congrats!

CelebBabyLover on

What a cutie! I love the sock monky on his dresser!

sky on

I’ve always love the name Benjamin! Congratulations Rachel & John!!

DebbieLG on

Love Rachel! Congratulations on sweet little Eli!

Carmen on

God bless you and your new family.

April on

What a great story and Eli is such a cutie. I’m so glad Rachel got the chance to experience motherhood, she seems so grateful.

Gigohead on

Lovely baby and much congrats to Rachel and dad. I want to add only one comment. I do hope Nate Berkus realizes that window guards are a must on window in the nursery. It’s the law in NYC.

Beautee on

Good for her, she’s glowing and he’s an adorable little bundle of joy.

Dodie on

And Congratulations to the brand new Grandma and Grandpa, too!

NJGal on

She looks great and the baby is gorgeous! I’m so happy for her. I’m sure she’ll be a great mom! Once again, this just proves that a woman can be a mother at any age. Many blessings and congratulations!

torgster on

Good on you Rachel! Loved her on SNL and felt so bad when 30 Rock gave her the shaft after just a couple episodes and instead just made it a star vehicle for Tina (love her too – not her fault lol)

Julie Q on

Congratulations from the mom of another Eli! Eli Jeffrey in my case. My “baby” is now 30! Eli is a great name and he looks to be a very handsome lad!

FC on

He’s adorable, and I love the nursery Nate was able to create for them. Very nice! 🙂

Kelly on

Such a beautiful baby. I would love to hear more of her story of “HOW SHE GOT PREGNANT in her FORTIES?” Congratulations to you both!

debbiesue on

Congratulations to Rachel!! What a beautiful little baby boy. I love the nursery, very tasteful and lovely. Rachel, I miss seeing you on SNL, you were always one of my favorite performers, but I’m happy to see you looking beautiful and happy and blessed with your family. 😀

JoAnn on

He is adorable . Congratulations!

MiB on

@Kelly – the answer is quite schocking! She had sex! 😉

Anyways, this must bee one of the most adorable newborns I have seen in a while, and one of the first nurseries on this page that is actually to my taste!

Devan on

He is a doll. Im so happy for Rachel ! She was meant to be a Mother ! ! ! !

08girl on

Seems crazy she lives in a one-bedroom apartment! Not that I’m against it or anything – just observing that it seems kinda odd for a celeb. lol

Layni on

Cuuute! Way to go, Rachel. I love seeing a mature single woman in her ’40s with a baby and an involved father. Did Rachel and John do it the “old-fashioned” way? No. Sure, it may have been unexpected, but it’s two MATURE adults with good incomes who are taking good care of their son… even if they choose not to be together. Much better than a couple of kids in their early ’20s, or worse, late teens, who don’t know anything about ANYTHING and end up divorced, because they were never really ready to be married and/or were never truly in love. Those stories are a dime a dozen and so old.