Daddy Issues

They survived Mormonism. Can these gay dads survive triplets?

Meet Jake & Sean Taylor-Bauman, a married couple of Salt Lake City realtors. After surviving a Mormon upbringing, Grindr dates and trying to change their sexuality, the pair just welcomed triplets, born via surrogate.

Jake and Sean met nine years ago on Grindr, and though they felt attracted to each other, decided to focus on changing their sexualities. Both grew up in strict Mormon households that taught homosexuality is wrong. They’d hoped with each other’s help, they could “pray the gay away.”

“I knew that I was gay from a very young age and was so terrified of that temptation and ‘acting on those feelings,'” Jake told The Daily Mail. “When Sean and I met on Grindr, we had never come out to anyone in real life.”

“We were on the app with secret aliases and met up with the intention to help each other through the gay thing,” he added. “We thought if we found understanding wives, we would be able to make life within the church work. Quickly, we realized that our friendship was more than that and we fell in love pretty fast becoming each other’s very first boyfriends.”

Getting their families to accept the relationship wasn’t exactly easy, either. “Initially it was tough for our families when we came out to them,” Jake added. “Luckily, they are incredible people and could see how truly happy we were finding each other. It didn’t take long for them to embrace what they didn’t understand and accept our authentic selves.”

Related: Gay Dad Has Message For Dolce & Gabbana: Surrogacy Creates Loving, Well-Adjusted Children

Jake & Sean finally married in 2016 and immediately wanted to have children. An early surrogacy resulted in a miscarriage, which struck a terrible emotional blow to the couple. They ended up switching surrogates and decided to implant two embryos just in case. Then, in a twist, one split: they ended up with triplets, two girls and a boy.

Wren, Willow and Winston Taylor-Bauman arrived on January 23, 2021…just over three weeks early.

“They came early at 32 weeks and so spent their first twenty-three days of life in the hospital,” Jake explained. “It was honestly so surreal seeing our babies for the first time. It was such a high-risk pregnancy that we had so much anxiety and worry. When we saw their little faces we were overwhelmed with emotion and tears of joy.”

Naturally, Jake and Sean have lost out on a lot of sleep since.

“Night one was pretty tough, but luckily they are so damn cute,” Jake recalled. “By the time we finished feeding, changing, and burping, there was only about an hour to nap before starting all over again.”

“There’s really nothing that prepares you for this experience,” he added. “We told ourselves we knew this would be hard, but it’s definitely harder than we even imagined. The biggest advice we have received and can give regarding multiples is to stick to a schedule. When one wakes up to eat we wake them all up. It’s the only way we can have at least a semblance of normality in our schedule.”

“All that being said,” he continued, “it has been so worth it. All the years planning, money spent, the terrible miscarriage we went through, and now the sleepless nights. We’ve definitely been learning patience because everything takes triple the time and it’s ok to slow down the pace a bit. We’ve learned to enjoy the little moments and to be more present. Our hearts are bursting with love for each one of them. We wouldn’t change a thing.”

What an adorable family.

With more and more gay couples marrying, surrogacy remains a much-discussed, if cost restrictive, procedure. Sean & Jake Taylor-Bauman spent upwards of $100,000 on the surrogacy of their triplets. They’re lucky the kids are cute!