A black woman has become the first mum to give birth to 2 white babies. When the midwife presented Catherine Howarth with her new baby, she was convinced she’d been given the ᴡʀᴏɴɢ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.
Financial analyst Catherine Howarth, 35, who is of Nɪɢᴇʀɪᴀɴ ʜᴇʀɪᴛᴀɢᴇ, believed the ʀᴀʀᴇ ʀᴇᴄᴇssɪᴠᴇ ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇ that resulted in son Jonah, three, being completely white would not strike a second time. So she was sᴛᴜɴɴᴇᴅ when the midwife handed her daughter Sophia and she was as ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ as her big brother. The mum from Milton Keynes, Bucks, believes she is the ᴏɴʟʏ ʙʟᴀᴄᴋmother in the world to have given birth to two white, blue-eyed children. She said: “When Jonah was born, a ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ sᴘᴇᴄɪᴀʟɪsᴛ said he was ᴀ ᴏɴᴇ-ɪɴ-ᴀ-ᴍɪʟʟɪᴏɴ baby. He said it was ᴇxᴛʀᴀᴏʀᴅɪɴᴀʀʏ with my AFʀɪᴄᴀɴ ʙᴀᴄᴋɢʀᴏᴜɴᴅ that I’d had a child with blue eyes and pale skin. He calculated the possibility of it ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴɪɴɢ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ was ʟᴇss ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴏɴᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ᴍɪʟʟɪᴏɴ. So when Sophia was born with white skin and blue eyes. I was ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴ taken back with sʜᴏᴄᴋ. It seems the ᴏᴅᴅs of it ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴɪɴɢ twice are ᴍɪʟʟɪᴏɴs-ᴛᴏ-ᴏɴᴇ. Nᴏ one has heard of a black mum having two white babies one after the other. ”
Her husband Richard, 34, a medical recruitment consultant, was equally astonished. He had expected his son, who was born at Mɪʟᴛᴏɴ Kᴇʏɴᴇs Hᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ on June 1, to have darker skin. He said: “When I first set eyes on my baby boy Jonah, it was a feeling of pure delight and relief that he was healthy and strong. His ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟᴇxɪᴏɴ was very ᴘᴀʟᴇ ᴅᴜᴇ to the ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ being wrapped around his neck when he was being ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ. After a few hours his ᴄᴏʟᴏᴜʀ came to his cheeks. Catherine and I noticed his ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟᴇxɪᴏɴ was very similar to mine and were surprised it was as light. The midwives and doctors told us he’ll most likely remain this colour.” Catherine explanation :” My parents were from Nigeria and as far back as anyone can recall my family have all been ʙʟᴀᴄᴋ. The only explanation seems to be there must have been ᴀ ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇ in my family that has remained dormant for years until now. And now it seems to be ᴠᴇʀʏ ᴅᴏᴍɪɴᴀɴᴛ.”
She adds: “Each time midwives and doctors have all commented on our babies’ amazing ᴄᴏʟᴏᴜʀing. People often get confused when they meet me with the children for the first time. You can see them doing a double take, wondering if I am their mum. I do get tired of being stopped in the street by people asking if I’ᴍ the ɴᴀɴɴʏ. People seem to find it hard to understand how I could give birth twice to ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅʀᴇɴ. But when people get to know us more, they often say despite their ʙʟᴜᴇ ᴇʏᴇs and ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ sᴋɪɴ, they can also see a lot of my ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀɪsᴛɪᴄs.” Despite the initial sʜᴏᴄᴋ, the couple are delighted with their ᴍɪʀᴀᴄʟᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅren. When Jonah was born, his stunning looks attracted the attention of five modelling agencies. His little sister, ten months, is now set to follow in his footsteps as she has already been signed up to talent agencies. At just three weeks she landed her first modelling job. Dad Richard said: ‘While it is interesting how the ɢᴇɴᴇs have ᴀʟɪɢɴᴇᴅ themselves, it doesn’t matter to us what ᴄᴏʟᴏᴜʀ our ᴄʜɪʟᴅren’s sᴋɪɴ is. We just feel incredibly lucky to have a beautiful son and daughter. Having healthy and happy kids is all that matters.”
The couple plan on having more ᴄʜɪʟᴅren in the future, although they’re ɴᴏᴛ sure when. Catherine said: “We want more ᴄʜɪʟᴅren but we’re going to wait for things to settle down. We were told the likelihood of having another ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ was impossible after Jonah but it did ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ twice, so ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs are ʀᴇᴀʟʟʏ ᴀsᴛᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ.”