A couple who met on a dating app during the first lockdown are now expecting triplets.
Megan Smyth, 31, and Clayton Whittaker, 41, first set eyes on each other on the dating app Bumble in late May 2020.
Taking a socially distanced walk around Clayton’s home village of Moorhouse, Nottinghamshire, a week later, the pair were instantly smitten.
With the threat of another lockdown and national restrictions in place due to the pandemic, they decided to move in together for lockdown just one month later.
Incredibly, the happy couple are now expecting identical triplets – something they never expected.
Identical triplets is an extremely rare conception which only occurs in one in 200 million naturally-conceived pregnancies.
Expectant mum Megan said: “I can’t quite believe it. This is definitely not how I expected this year to go.
“At the start of 2020, I’d just broken up with my ex and sworn off men so never thought I’d be pregnant by the end of the year.
“If someone had said to me in January that I’d be pregnant with triplets, there’s no way I’d have believed it. It’s overwhelming.
“For them to be identical triplets as well is so rare – I’ve read somewhere that you have more chance of becoming President.”
Proud dad Clayton said: “It was very shocking to start with. It’s quite a miracle for us.
“I was very surprised when Megan said she was pregnant. I didn’t think that we would have a family that quick but it’s happened and we’re happy about it. It’s a gift, really.”
After bonding on Bumble over their love of dogs, NHS project coordinator Megan and excavation driver Clayton decided to meet up just one week after their first message in May.
With another lockdown around the corner, the couple took the plunge and decided to move in together in Megan’s two-bedroom home in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts.
Megan said: “We haven’t spent a day apart since the day we first met.
“We officially became a couple in June 2020 and Clayton then moved in with me a couple of weeks later.
“I was widowed in 2013 and hadn’t really done much dating at all until this year. I broke up with a boyfriend in January and met another one in March that didn’t last very long.
“With Clayton, it was just very different. We are pretty much the same person in that we view things in the same way.
“We’re both very easy going. We just get along, it’s just easy, it’s not hard work or anything. I think you just know when it’s easy to get along with someone.
“I think it was his idea to move in together so quickly. It wasn’t strange at all – he helps out with the dogs and chores, washes dishes, and we take it in turns to cook.”
Clayton said: “When we had our first date, we just got on so well that we never had a day apart after that.
“From the moment we met each other, we just knew that we’d spend every day together so moving in together just felt right. It’s been really good and it doesn’t happen like that often.
“In this day and age, a lot of people are anxious about relationships and online dating whereas we didn’t have any issues. We just clicked and were happy together.”
As if moving in together one month after meeting wasn’t enough, Clayton and Megan’s lives were then changed forever in August 2020.
After missing a period, Megan took a pregnancy test and found out that she was pregnant.
With both parents over the moon, they attended a private scan on September 18 but nothing had prepared them for the news that they were expecting three babies.
Megan said: “I did a test whilst he was at work as I’m working from home. I tried to keep it a secret to tell him in some special way but I caved that night.
“I don’t think we expected anything to happen that quickly. Clayton has a little boy anyway and we were both really excited to be expecting, even though it was so soon.
“My mum was allowed to come with us to the scan as it wasn’t lockdown, and I was fretting that there wouldn’t be anything in there as I just couldn’t believe I was pregnant.
“I asked the nurse to please tell me if there was one and as soon as she put the gel on my belly, I said don’t tell me it’s twins though. Twins are fairly common in my family.
“She was measuring their heartbeats and I was trying to wrap my head around the fact there were two babies when she said she could see another one.
“Clayton just turned as a white as a ghost and put his head in his hands.”
Clayton recalled: “Megan was on the bed and I was stood up watching the screen where the scan was and I saw two blobs and initially thought there’s two for sure.
“That was the first initial shock that made me a bit clammy and white, thinking it’s really nice but also I’ll be living my life in the digger earning money to care for two babies.
“Then we saw this other blob and the nurse said there’s three. I needed a chair immediately, I just kept saying ‘oh my God’, I just couldn’t believe it.
“It takes so long for something like that to sink in – we came out into the waiting room and were just all looking at each other, absolutely gobsmacked. We had no words to say to each other, it was just such a shock!
“I was thinking poor Megan, she’s got to carry these three babies in her first pregnancy!”
With three babies due in April 2020, Clayton and Megan are preparing to welcome their identical triplets with the support of excited family and friends.
Megan said: “Everyone is really excited for us.
“If someone had said to me in January that I’d be pregnant with triplets, there’s no way I’d have believed it.
“It is overwhelming. When you say triplets, a lot of people say that’s amazing, that’s so cool, but they haven’t thought about everything that goes with it.
“Just before lockdown, we bought some second hand cots but it’s really hard to buy anything else now because we can’t really go to shops so hoping for some luck in the January sales.
“I don’t think I’ve ever met two more excited people than my mum and his mum. They’re constantly messaging me asking how the bump is.”
Clayton added: “The news has sunk in now and Megan is obviously getting bigger now with the babies, we keep looking at her belly.
“We’ve bought the van for them so have the space now for the babies and the dogs – we’ve basically bought a minibus!
“I’m not allowed to some of the scans because of Covid but I’m going to the 20 week scan which I’m really looking forward to.
“We’re really happy now and so excited. Our parents are so excited too – my mum can’t wait, she’s over the moon.”