Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s Bootcamp, and Jonathan Rollo, founder of Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop, recently welcomed their second child, Jake, into their family. We caught up with Joey recently to talk about fatherhood, fitness, and Jake’s scary entry into the world on April 8th of this year:
Gays With Kids: You mentioned baby Jake had a dramatic entrance into the world on April 8 this year. What happened? Were you in the birthing room?
Joey Gonzalez: We were in the room, and it was actually a very traumatic experience. He flipped around in the final moments before coming out, shocking the midwife and nurses who were not prepared for a breeched birth. (Breeched babies are typically delivered through cesarean section surgeries) When they realized what was happening, they hit the emergency button and a dozen staff members ran into the room. Jake’s legs came out one by one, but his entire body was pale, white and limp. Dayna continued to push, but unfortunately experienced what is called “head entrapment.” This occurs when the entire body is delivered, but the head remains stuck. At this point, the NICU team arrived and they asked “the family to be removed.” Words I will never forget. Jon, my Mom, and I waited in the hallway and listened to Dayna scream, push, and eventually deliver our son. However, the entire room was silent, and there were no sounds of him screaming or crying. The staff eventually allowed us back in the room, and we could see him hooked up to an oxygen machine while being worked on by the physician and his team. After what seemed like an eternity, Jake finally let out a scream, and the nurse next to us smiled, and said, “that’s a very good sign.”
GWK: We’re so happy everything worked out! From your Instagram accounts, it looks like you’ve used the same surrogate, Dayna, for both of your children. Could you tell us a little about your relationship with your her?
JG: She’s a miracle. She and her family have sacrificed so much to bring Frankie and Jake into our lives.
GWK: How is your first born, Francesca, responding to her little brother?
JG: She has been a dream come true—only ever kissing and hugging her brother, to whom she refers to as “baby.”
GWK: How are you and Jonathan managing life with two children under the age of 2, and operating your personal businesses?
JG: The balance is challenging. It feels as though no matter what I’m doing, I’m sacrificing other important responsibilities. At some point, you just have to trust your ability to prioritize, and live in the moment. I love my job so much, but of course I love my family above all.
GWK: How tough has it been to keep up with working out as a new gay dad?
JG: Tough. It’s the area of my life that has taken the biggest hit. I’ve only been able to workout approximately 4 times a week, which I’ve offset by eating even healthier than before.
GWK: How important is fitness and healthy living to you as new gay dads?
JG: Very important. All the aforementioned things are a part of our identity: work, family, and health. Jon and I have built our lives around health and fitness and it’s vital we teach our children the importance of it always.
GWK: What fitness tips do you have for a new dads?
JG: Snatch up every opportunity you get. Set a weekly goal and do what it takes to meet it. Also, try and find workouts that can involve your kids!
GWK: Why did you decide to join Barry’s Bootcamp?
JG: When I discovered Barry’s, it was a small local workout concept here in Los Angeles. The way it changed my body and mind and the friends I made in class drove me to approach the founders about an expansion.
GWK: Do you have plans to grow your family again?
We’ve always wanted a bigger family (three or four), but are planning to test life with two for a while before jumping the gun.
GWK: How has life changed since becoming dads?
JG: I thought it would feel much more like work, and underestimated the amount of fun and joy we squeeze out of every moment together.
GWK: If you could go back in time and give your younger self any advice about your path in life, what would it be?
JG: Follow your gut and have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Check out some of our favorite Instagram pics of Joey and Jonathan’s family in the slide show below! And if you’re in need of a new workout routine, be sure to check out a Barry’s Bootcamp near you. In the Los Angeles area? Check out Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop which specializes in fresh, affordable, and healthy foods.
Introducing, Jake Stone Gonzollo, born April 8, 5:29am. Grateful for so much today: his life and health, the support and love of our friends and family, @mcmilly13’s fearlessness, and as always, for our right to be married and build the family of our dreams. #babygonzollo #jakestone #gonzollos #gayfamily #gaydads #gayfamily #loveislove #babyannouncement #gaystagram 📷@samanthajeanphoto