For Andrew and Kyle, starting a family was the best decision they ever made. Kyle, a founder of a Tech PR firm in San Francisco, and Andrew, once in real estate, now a stay-at-home dad, could not be happier: They're dads of twins, Kennedy and Kolby, born via surrogacy on July 28, 2016. The past year has flown by but the men gave us a glimpse into what life has been like for the first-time fathers.
Both Andrew and Kyle were in the room when their twins were born, remembering the moment as an "amazing" and "beautiful" experience, and "something they'll never forget." Although there was no expectation to form a relationship with their surrogate, Andrew and Kyle are very happy that they keep in touch and have formed a lifelong friendship through their shared experience.
Andrew with the twins
Their New Schedule
With the girls at home, life has completely changed for the two new dads, and constantly keeps changing as the girls reach certain milestones.
"The first 4 months were very hard with twins and sleeping," shared Andrew. "Waking up several times a night to change diapers and feed; [our] average sleep was 2-4 hours per night."
Now that the girls are 10 months old, the girls go down for 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep and Andrew and Kyle are getting the hours of sleep they require. On most nights.
Kyle is working full-time and Andrew was able to take two years off work to enjoy this time with the girls while they're young. They also have a part-time housekeeper/nanny who helps the new family of four.
Andrew (left) and Kyle (right) holding their daughters
What They've Learnt
Kyle and Andrew prepared for twins by speaking with a cousin who also had twins and reading a ton of books. They also bought two of everything. But the most challenging part of the life with a newborn, or newborns in their case: sleep deprivation.
"Sleep, sleep, and more sleep!" said Andrew. "Sleep deprivation is very real and it's the most stressful part of having twins or having a baby in general, but you make it through it."
One piece of advice that the dads have for other new fathers: stick to a schedule! A strict schedule has worked well for both parents and their daughters.
"We started a schedule around 3 months - same nap times everyday, same bedtime routine. Babies love routines," said Andrew. "We truly believe that is why our girls sleep 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night."
They also swear by their Twin-Go Carrier or Ergo Carriers, and their Mama-Roo Rocker, helping them throughout the day.
It's been too hard to choose just one moment that has been their favorite of fatherhood so far. Each milestone, they say, has been important. From experiencing their birth, to the first time Kennedy and Kolby crawled and then stood, to the two girls' teeth coming through.
Final words of wisdom to those contemplating fatherhood?
"Be open minded; sleep now; every day is different; you will survive! It's tough but we wouldn't change it for the world!"