Gay Dad Life

Life with a Newborn: Tyler and Andy

On June 16, 2017, Tyler and Andy's lives changed forever. They became dads to twins, Emmerich and Caellum, via gestational surrogacy,. Andy's cousin was the carrier. The new dads shared with us their memories of the birth, and what the first couple of months have been like as fathers to newborn twins. These guys certainly have their hands full!

Together 10 years, and married for the past 4, Tyler and Andy, live in Phoenix, Arizona. They've recently bought a new house and Andy is doing his residency at Phoenix Children's Hospital training to become a pediatrician. Tyler is currently a full-time stay-at-home dad to their 2-month-old twins, Emmerich and Caellum.


After initially researching surrogacy, Tyler and Andy gave up the idea of being biological fathers of their kids. The expenses, as for many families, put surrogacy out of reach. It wasn't till Andy's cousin selflessly offered to be their gestational carrier that the dads-to-be began their journey.

"She is my cousin, she is a midwife, she is a mother, she is inspirational!" said Andy.

Andy (left) and Tyler with Andy's cousin, their gestational carrier

Over the 3 years that it took to become dads, the couple encountered some hurdles. They needed to find a clinic that would work with both Tyler and Andy locally in Phoenix, and also with their gestational carrier in New Mexico where she lives. It was not certain that the implantation would be able to take place at all. But on June 16, just shy of 36 weeks, the twins were born.

It was very important for Tyler to be there for the birth. Their bags were packed weeks beforehand. Thankfully, there was enough warning for the guys to drive to New Mexico and be in the Operating Room when their sons were born.

"Both boys let out a cry right away and my heart just melted with joy and so much love for these two tiny humans," shared Tyler.

"I don't think it really hit me until we heard the first cry and I started sobbing," said Andy.

Tyler even managed to secretly capture the first cries on his phone so the dads will always be able to listen to the moment when their boys first entered the world. The two dads did skin-to-skin right away, and then fed their sons their first bottle of formula.

Tyler is a stay-at-home dad with Emmerich and Caellum, and after a "lifetime" in the hospitality industry, he's very happy to dedicate his days to his sons. He does all the nighttime feedings which can take up to an hour with the twins. Tyler shares that it is exhausting work but he tries to nap when they do during the day, and he loves it.

Andy is completing his pediatric residency so is working long hours but coming home to his babies is the highlight of his day, he says.

Visiting Andy at Phoenix Children's Hospital

The new family is fortunate enough to have both sets of grandparents close-by and they've been there from the very beginning, helping Tyler and Andy when they can.

The new dads have been sopping up all the advice that has come their way regarding twins, but ultimately they're trying to do what's best for them as a family. They didn't buy a ton of stuff to prepare for their new arrivals, just the essentials: two car seats, two sleeping bassinets, double stroller, clothes, wipes and, as you might expect, a lot of diapers.

The most challenging aspect has been the lack of sleep - something all new parents can relate to. But the love and support from their family and friends has been overwhelming. At times it is still accompanied with a barrage of unsolicited advice, but they're taking it in stride as they consider it to be the rite of passage for all new parents.

One thing that has surprised them both is how much support they've had from strangers.

"Arizona isn't the most liberal state," explained the dads. Still, "as we have been in public more, no one questions the fact that we are a cohesive family. People are so forward to express their support for us and our children."

Both Andy and Tyler acknowledge just how vital they have been to one another from day one.

"Even when I am home alone with the boys, I receive support from Andy via text messages as I update him with pictures of the boys," shared Tyler.

The first time the new family went out to dinner together, they say, has been one of their best moments so far.

"We ate, the babies slept, we felt like a family. It felt right."

Congratulations to these new dads!

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

Broadway Performer's Surrogacy Journey Briefly Sidetracked — for One Very 'Wicked' Reason

"Broadway Husbands" Stephen and Bret explain the exciting reasons they had to hit pause on their surrogacy journey — but don't worry, they're back on track!

In the latest video of the Broadway Husbands sharing their path to fatherhood, Stephen and Bret explain their hiatus for the past 4 months. The couple have big news to share including a relocation, a job announcement, and the fact that they're getting ready to restart their journey (which they had to take a brief pause from since September).

Watch their video to find out their latest news.

Keep reading... Show less
Expert Advice

Your Surrogacy Questions —Answered by a Dad Via Surrogacy

We asked our Instagram community to send us their questions about becoming a dad through surrogacy

Dad Tyler Fontes (read his story here) recently shared his experience as a dad through surrogacy with our Instagram community via a question and answer session.

Read Joseph's responses below.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

"We're Dads, the Greatest Thing We've Ever Been": Congrats to Gay Men Whose Families Recently Grew!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.

Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

How This Dad 'Redesigned' the Holidays After Coming Out of the Closet

Rick Clemons describes how he made the holidays work for him and his family again after coming out of the closet

What I'm about to describe to you, is something I am deeply ashamed of in hindsight. I was a jerk, still in a state of shock and confusion, and "in love" with a handsome Brit I'd only spent less than 24 hours with.

I was standing in the Ontario, California airport watching my wife walk with my two daughters to a different gate than mine. They were headed to my parents in the Napa Valley for Thanksgiving. I was headed to spend my Thanksgiving with the Brit in San Francisco. It was less than one month after I had come out of the closet and I was so caught up in my own freedom and new life that I didn't realize until everything went kaput with the Brit on New Year's Eve, that if I was ever going to manage the holidays with dignity and respect for me, my kids, and their Mom, I was going to have to kick myself in the pants and stop acting like a kid in the candy store when it came to men. Ok, nothing wrong with acting that way since I never got to date guys in high school and college because I was raised to believe – gay no way, was the way. But that's another article all together.

Keep reading... Show less
What to Buy

Shop with a Purpose with Our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Want to find amazing gift ideas while *also* supporting LGBTQ-owned and allied businesses? Look no further than our 2019 holiday gift guide!

'Tis the season to show loved ones you care. And what better way to show you care, by also supported our LGBTQ+ community and allies whilst doing it! Shop (LGBTQ+) smart with these great suggestions below.

Keep reading... Show less
Diary of a Newly Out Gay Dad

A Newly Out Gay Dad Feels 'Demoted' After Divorce

Cameron Call showed up to his first family Thanksgiving since coming out and getting a divorce — and struggles to find himself "stuck with the singles."

Cameron Call, who came out in summer 2019, has generously agreed to chronicle his coming out journey for Gays With Kids over the next several months — the highs, lows and everything in between. Read his first article here.

Denial is an interesting thing. It's easy to think you're potentially above it, avoiding it, assume it doesn't apply to you because you'd NEVER do that, or maybe you're just simply avoiding it altogether. After finally coming out, I liked to think that I was done denying anything from now on. But unfortunately that's not the case.

And this fact became very clear to me over Thanksgiving.

Keep reading... Show less
Resources

New Report Details the 'Price of Parenthood' for LGBTQ People

A new report by the Family Equality Council takes a deep dive into the current state of cost for becoming a parent as an LGBTQ person

Parenthood is expensive. But parenthood while queer is still prohibitively costly for so many segments of the LGBTQ community interested in pursuing a family, according to a new repot by the Family Equality Council, titled, "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood."

Among the more interesting findings was this one: the cost of family planning is relatively similar for all LGBTQ people, regardless of income level. This shows "that the desire to have children exists regardless of financial security," the report's authors conclude.

Research for the report was conducted through an online survey of 500 LGBTQ adults over the age of 18, and was conducted between July 11-18, 2018. For comparison, the survey also included 1,004 adults who did not identify as LGBTQ.

Other interesting findings of the report include:

  • 29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, and error associated with question-wording and response options.29% of all LGBTQ+ respondents reported an annual household income under $25,000 compared to 22% of non-LGBTQ+ respondents.
  • 33% of black LGBTQ+ respondents, 32% of female-identified LGBTQ+ respondents, and 31% of trans/gender non-conforming LGBTQ+ respondents reported annual household incomes below $25,000.
  • Regardless of annual household income, 45-53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. Those making less than $25,000 a year are considering becoming parents at very similar rates as those making over $100,000.
  • Data from the Family Building Survey reveals that LGBTQ+ households making over $100,000 annually are considering the full range of paths to parenthood, from surrogacy and private adoption to foster care and IVF. The most popular options under consideration in this income bracket are private adoption (74% are considering), foster care (42%), and IVF or reciprocal IVF (21%). At the other end of the economic spectrum, for LGBTQ+ individuals in households making less than $25,000 annually, the most commonly considered paths to parenthood are intercourse (35% are considering), foster care (30%), and adoption (23%).

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse