Regardless of the challenges year one of parenting twins has brought the couple, Shaun T and Scott Blokker have learned a lot of valuable life lessons
Posing alongside their sons in a family photo shoot for Parents magazine’s February cover, the celebrity fitness trainer and his husband of six years get candid about the ups and downs of the first year of parenthood.
“It was terrible,” admits Shaun T with a laugh, describing his and Blokker’s dynamic during the first four months of the boys’ lives. “We got into more fights than we’d ever had in our entire relationship.”
Agrees Blokker, “I even questioned whether we’d ruined our marriage by having kids, but it wasn’t the kids. It was the not sleeping!”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
After being born prematurely at 32 weeks, Silas and Sander gave their dads a run for their money with constant feedings that brought the couple “no more than two hours of sleep at a time for weeks in a row,” says Blokker.
It was a rude awakening for the new fathers, who had expected a different reality before their final night at the hospital, ahead of when they finally brought the boys home almost three weeks after their arrival on Nov. 17, 2017.
“On their last night there, we had no monitors, no nurses, just us,” Shaun T, 40, tells Parents. “I remember thinking, ‘This will be a piece of cake.’ I was so wrong. They cried nonstop!”
Silas and Sander came from the same egg donor, while Silas is from Blokker’s sperm and Sander is from Shaun T’s.
But the process was a lengthy (and expensive) one, as the couple spent thousands of dollars on 12 attempts from a total of six egg donors, five surrogates and two doctors.
“We went through all the things that couples struggling with fertility go through: tests, doubt, grief, not knowing, waiting,” Blokker says.
Regardless of the challenges year one of fatherhood has brought the couple — Shaun T who “brings the fun” while Blokker “[does] all the planning,” the latter says — they have done their best to heed the words of wisdom from other parents who came before them.
“I’ve received two great pieces of advice,” says the Insanity workout mastermind. “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,” Shaun T continues. “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.”
Does that calming force mean they’ll have the 11 kids Blokker once told his husband he wanted? “Hell to the no!” Shaun T says with a laugh, but he does admit, “I think we could do this again.”