Now, that’s a whirlwind romance! Woman buys a house with her teenage crush a fortnight after their first date – and then has THREE babies in nine months
- Rachael Kirkwood, 34, from Manchester reunited with her school crush Paddy
- She sent anonymous Valentine’s Day cards to her now husband when at school
- The couple bought a house and married within months of their first date
- Rachael had a daughter and then fell pregnant with twins, born nine months later
A woman who reunited with her school crush through a Facebook message after years apart went on to have a whirlwind romance with him – buying a house after two weeks and having three babies in just nine months.
When Rachael Kirkwood, 34, first spotted her now husband, Paddy, 35, in the corridors of the secondary school they both attended in Manchester, she fell head over heels but was too shy to speak to him.
Then, in April 2015, she sent Paddy, who also has a son from a previous relationship, a message after stumbling upon his Facebook profile.
After meeting for a first date around a week later, things moved fast, with the pair buying a house together after two weeks, before getting engaged in July 2015, and marrying in the December.
In September 2016, Rachael gave birth to their daughter Mollie, now two, and just six weeks later she fell pregnant with identical twins Niall and Luke – who were born six weeks early in June 2017.
Rachael Kirkwood, 34, and Paddy, 35, both from Manchester enjoyed a whirlwind romance as they married and had three children together in under one year
Rachael had son Oliver (left) from a previous relationship and twin boys Niall and Luke with husband Paddy, although she feared she would have difficulties having children after suffering a molar pregnancy
Paddy and Rachael sparked up a romance after she found her crush on Facebook, years after they left the Manchester secondary school they both attended
Rachael has admitted she was warned her relationship was moving ‘too fast’, but after spending years pining over Paddy she knew he was the one.
Rachael said: ‘People thought it was way too fast and told me it wouldn’t last, but I was sure we were meant to be together.’
When she first met Paddy at school, Rachael was overcome with shyness and never plucked up the courage to speak to him, instead admiring him from afar and sending anonymous Valentine’s Day cards every February 14th.
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In time, they both left school and began their adult lives, with Rachael even living in New Zealand for two years, and having a son, Oliver, now seven, but she never forgot about her first love.
‘I believe in love at first sight. I loved Paddy as soon as I saw him back at school, and still felt the same after years apart. If something feels right, you have to go for it.
‘I saw his profile pop up as he’d commented on a mutual friend’s post, so I had a look through his photos and plucked up the courage to message him. I said, ‘You haven’t changed a bit.”
Rachael used to send anonymous love letters to Paddy on Valentine’s Day when they were at school. However, the pair were in different school years, and never spoke during their younger years
Paddy was one year ahead of Rachael at school, but it took a Facebook message after several years later for the pair to connect and enjoy their first ever date
Rachael had long admired Paddy ever since she was at school, and despite people telling her she was moving too quickly with her now husband she always believed in love at first sight
Rachael was asked to move in with Paddy just weeks after their first date, despite having previously lived in New Zealand with her son Oliver
After the mother-of-five took the plunge and reached out to Paddy, she feared he wouldn’t remember her – especially as they never interacted at school.
She continued: ‘I wasn’t even sure if he’d remember me, given that we’d never spoken. But he replied right away saying, ‘Neither have you.’
From there, Paddy and Rachael began to speak every day over Facebook, swapping tales about life, love, and everything in between.
After a week, the father-of-four asked the question she’d longed to hear ever since she was a teenager, as he asked Rachael on a date.
Paddy proposed to Rachael on a romantic trip to Paris, France, and she has described the romantic moment as a ‘fairytale’, although others thought she was too hasty
Rachael explained: ‘We’d arranged something for the following week, but in the end, we couldn’t wait. I ended up texting him a few days later when I was on a night out in Manchester city center to see if he wanted to come and join me.
‘He did, and as soon as I saw him, it was like we’d known each other forever. Which we had, I suppose.’
The spark between them clear to see, Paddy and Rachael spent virtually every day together from then onwards.
Their romance progressed quickly, and withing two weeks Paddy mentioned he was house-hunting, and suggested she join him for a viewing of a property near to where Rachael was living at the time.
Rachael and Paddy married shortly after in Paris, which was the city he proposed to her just months earlier. The couple were joined by 60 guests on their wedding day
She recalled: ‘He asked me what I thought of the place, and I told him I loved it.’
But Paddy then posed another huge question, and asked Rachael to move in with him.
She continued: ‘Then he turned to me and said, ‘I don’t want to get it unless you move in too.
‘I thought, “Is he mad?”. It had only been two weeks. But part of me just knew it was right.’
The couple swiftly jetted to Madrid, Spain, to celebrate the milestone. Just moments after they returned from their city break they found out their offer on their first home together had been accepted.
Paddy and Rachael tied the knot shortly after the tragic news they had lost their child at 12 weeks into the pregnancy
On their wedding day the couple enjoyed a trip down the River Seine, which took them pass the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris – also known as the city of love
A swift six weeks later, in early July, Paddy had another important question for Rachael, as he asked her to marry him in Paris.
‘It was like something from a fairytale,’ Rachael recalled.
‘People thought it was way too fast and told me it wouldn’t last, but I was sure we were meant to be together’, she remembered.
Shortly before their trip to Paris, Rachael had discovered she was pregnant, meaning she had gone from single to engaged and expecting within a rapid three months.
Rachael dispelled comments she was rushing her relationship with Paddy, as she insisted she knew her now husband was the one
However, things took a turn for the worse when 12 weeks into her pregnancy Rachael was rushed to hospital after feeling dizzy, and found out she was experiencing a molar pregnancy.
The condition occurs when a lump of abnormal cells, rather than a healthy foetus, grows inside the womb.
In some cases, when the cells do not go away on their own, they can lead to a condition called persistent trophoblastic disease (PTD), which the NHS says is similar to cancer, if untreated.
Sadly Rachael’s baby had to be removed.
She said: ‘I couldn’t take it in. I had never even heard of a molar pregnancy.’
In the wake of the molar pregnancy, Rachael feared the same thing could happen again and she would never be able to start the family with Paddy that they both so desperately wanted.
The couple enjoyed a ride on the merry ground after they tied the knot with views of the Eiffel Tower. They couple had been together for under a year by the time they wed
Shortly after the heartbreaking ordeal, the pair decided to tie the knot in Paris that December, with a guest list of 60 loved ones.
Speaking about her wedding day, she said: ‘We hired a boat afterwards and sailed down the Seine, past the Eiffel Tower. The way we saw it, we wanted to be together, so there was no point in waiting – even though we hadn’t even been together a year. When you know, you know.’
In early 2016 – a month after their wedding – the duo found out they were expecting again.
In September Rachael gave birth to their daughter Mollie and just six weeks she fell pregnant again – and discovered it was twins.
Shortly after Rachael gave birth to her and Paddy’s first child, Molly, she found out she was expecting twins Niall and Luke. Rachael also has son Oliver, while Paddy also has another son from another relationship
Rachael feared how she would cope with five children when she found out she was expecting two more children Luke and Niall
She said: ‘We couldn’t believe it. We were basically doubling the size of the family.
‘At first, I was terrified about how we’d cope, but Paddy said it was like winning the lottery.
‘I knew then that we’d get through it together.’
The twins were born early in June 2017, meaning Rachael had given birth three times in nine months – and the children will all be in the same school year.
Luke and Niall were born in June 2017, which meant Rachael had given birth three times within nine months
Mollie, Luke and Niall will be in the same school year when they grow up as they were born within a short time frame of one another
Rachael has admitted she found it ‘hard work’ having three newborns to look after, but she has praised Paddy for being a ‘fantastic’ parent during this time.
‘It was hard work having three tiny babies. The twins had colic, so would cry a lot, then Mollie would wake up wanting a feed. Even getting out the house for five minutes took rigorous planning. We got a nanny to come and help two times a week, which was amazing. Plus Paddy was fantastic.’
Rachael added to her brood once again, with baby Orla, who was born in November 2018, despite taking the contraceptive pill.
Rachael and Paddy admitted she struggled having three children with quick succession and hired a nanny to help her cope, although she has praised husband Paddy for being a great father
The mum-of-five – who also has a stepson from Paddy’s previous relationship – has said her personal experiences, giving birth and motherhood, have encouraged her to start up a charity, as well as her own mum and baby blog
Rachael and Paddy welcomed their baby daughter, Orla, in November 2018, despite being on the contraceptive pill. She describes her family as unconventional but wouldn’t change her life for the world
Rachael’s ‘fairytale’ romance has inspired her to set up a charity called Wish For A Wedding, which helps provide weddings to couples dealing with a terminal illness.
The parent’s own pregnancy experiences has also encouraged her to set up a blog called MumToBe.com, where she shares advice and candid posts, especially aimed at those who may feel isolated as they don’t have many friends with children.
Rachael and Paddy – who have celebrated their third wedding anniversary – has hit back at the naysayers who insisted the couple’s relationship would not last.
Rachael and Paddy’s oldest child together, Mollie, cradles her little sister, Orla, in her arms. The couple were surprised by how quick their family has grown
A defiant Rachael said: ‘I know we aren’t conventional, but I wouldn’t change the way we did things for the world. Paddy and I are like teenagers together, still as in love now as we were on day one.
‘I’ve never met anyone like him, and know that, given all we’ve been through and not been broken, I’ll be with him forever.
‘To anyone out there doubting whirlwind romances, I’d say this – If something feels right, go for it.’
For more information on Rachael, visit www.wishforawedding.co.uk or www.mumtobe.com or follow www.instagram.com/the_kirkwood_triplets
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