US fitness instructor, Shaun T, famed for his ‘Insanity’ workout, has opened up about some of the ways becoming a dad has changed his life. He and husband Scott Blokker, with sons Silas Rhys and Sander Vaughn, grace the February cover of Parents magazine.
Shaun and husband Scott had long wanted to be dads. However, they did not expect how complicated the process would prove for them. Over the course of six years, they went through 12 surrogacy attempts with five different surrogates. This included a miscarriage.
Finally, back in October 2017, they announced that they were close to the arrival of their baby twins.
Silas Rhys and Sander Vaughn arrived 1 November 2017. They share the same egg donor. Shaun’s sperm created Sander while Scott’s sperm was used for Silas.
However, the arrival of the twins was far from being the end of Shaun and Scott’s problems. The boys, born two minutes apart, arrived at 32 weeks. They spent their first three weeks of life in NICU.
The men, who married in 2012, admit that the first months of being parents was particularly challenging and stressful.
‘It was terrible,’ recalls Shaun, laughing now.
‘We got into more fights than we’d ever had in our entire relationship,’ says husband Scott. ‘I even questioned whether we’d ruined our marriage by having kids, but it wasn’t the kids. It was the not sleeping!’
‘Never go to bed angry’
The baby’s at first awoke every two hours throughout the night, but finally began to settle down. The men say they’ve now got an effective routine going, and play to each others strengths.
‘I do all the planning—babysitters, shopping, doctors—and Shaun brings the fun,’ says Scott. He says it also helps greatly that they live next door to his parents, who have helped out tremendously.
‘I’ve received two great pieces of advice,’ Shaun continues. ‘Scott’s dad told me, “You’re not coming into the babies’ world. They’re coming into yours,” and that made me eager to show them the life we live.
‘The second was from my grandfather, who was married to my grandmother for 56 years. He said, “Never go to bed angry,” and we don’t. The connectedness you feel at the end of the day is the driving force for how you wake up the next day, so every night we fall asleep holding hands.’