Joey Gonzalez and husband Jonathan Rollo are “in heaven” after the birth of their first child.
Born at 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in York, Pennsylvania, daughter Francesca Isabella Gonzollo weighed in at 7 lbs., 11 oz.
“There are so many simple, unexpected joys we’ve discovered, like gazing into each other’s eyes for extended periods of time,” the Barry’s Bootcamp CEO, 37, told PEOPLE exclusively.
He added, “Nobody ever told me how magical that would feel.”
Courtesy Joey Gonzalez
Shortly after her birth (a few days later than expected — the due date was Nov. 27), the proud new fathers took to Facebook to announce their baby girl’s arrival.
“Thank you all for checking in constantly and sharing in the excitement. Just when you think you’ve experienced and done so much in life, this happens,” Gonzalez, whose international fitness boutique has locations throughout the United States and Europe, wrote.
“Nothing can prepare you for this moment. It trumps all. Welcome to the world FRANCESCA ISABELLA GONZOLLO. We’ve been waiting our whole lives for you.”
Gonzalez and Rollo — chef, owner and founder of organic restaurant chain Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop — turned to surrogacy to start their family, beginning with a six-month search for an egg donor and surrogate. They ultimately chose a Pennsylvania woman, Dayna, to carry their child and in February, an egg fertilized by each man was transferred into her uterus. A single embryo took, but neither dad is concerned about which one is the biological father.
“Our position is that this baby is our child, not necessarily Joey’s or not necessarily mine, but ours,” Rollo, 37, explained to PEOPLE earlier this year. “Unless for a medical need we have to determine the paternity, we’re going to avoid that.”
Added Dayna at the time, “I love Jon and Joey. When I think about giving birth and placing her in their arms, that’s what it’s all about for me — their joy, their emotions. That’s what’s going to get me to the end.”
Now two weeks into parenthood, “it’s been an amazing journey, nothing short of a miracle,” Gonzalez says of their path. “The process for us was obviously longer than normal, so it feels like a dream to finally have her in our arms.”
As the family of three settle into a new routine, Francesca has been surrounded by friends and family, and “already has a sense for how loved she is.”
Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this year the couple, who have been together for 10 years, said that Francesca is just the first of many children.
“We always say kids,” Rollo said in August. “We can’t read the future, but it’s definitely part of our plan to have multiple.”
— Chancellor Agard and Emily Strohm