By Catherine Reid
A black woman has become the first mum to give birth to two white babies.
Catherine Howarth, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, is the only black woman in the world with two white children.
She stunned doctors in June 2014 when she gave birth to Jonah Howarth, who has fair skin and blue eyes.
And in March 2016, the 34-year-old beat million to one odds again when Sophia – who also has pale skin and blue eyes – was born.
Catherine is of Nigerian heritage, while her husband Richard, 37, is white.
Doctors believe Catherine had a dormant white gene that her family have carried throughout the generations, which has resulted in the two unique births.
The mum-of-two said: “We were really surprised when Jonah was born.
“I was really worried and asked the doctor if everything was OK – they even did an albino test on him.
“Being mixed race, we just thought that his colour would come, but it never did.
“It was the first time the doctors had ever seen anything like that, but they kept saying how similar our characteristics were.
“They said it was a million to one chance of happening, and it was likely our second child would be a lot darker.”
Jonah, who was born at Milton Keynes Hospital weighing 9lbs 1oz, was quickly signed to a modelling agency who loved his unique looks.
Catherine added: “A lot of modelling agencies liked his pale skin, blue eyes and bright hair too, so he’s had quite a bit of work.”
Then, in March last year, the couple stunned midwives again when Sophia – who was born at University College Hospital, London weighing 7.8lbs – was also white.
The mum-of-two said: “We had the same reaction as we did with Jonah, just from different doctors!
“Everyone was really excited for my family to bring Jonah in as well so they could see him, too.
“One of the midwives was Nigerian and she was amazed and kept saying how this doesn’t normally happen.”
Catherine traced her ancestry but can’t find any white heritage in her family.
She added: “The doctors said I was carrying a recessive gene and every so often, there’s what they call a throwback.
“I’ve looked back through my family tree but can’t find any trace of it, now everyone in my family is demanding a DNA test to find out where this gene came from!”
Sophia is now following in Jonah’s modelling footsteps, and the pair love playing together.
Catherine said: “They’re very happy, bubbly characters and really active kids.
“Jonah is incredibly protective of Sophia, he’s always hugging her.”
Catherine said she is constantly stopped in the street by strangers, who ask if she’s their nanny.
She said: “People who stop us in the street are generally pretty nice and are just being curious.
“No one presumes I’m the mother, they think I’m everything but!
“They ask if I’m the nanny, the au pair, childminder, you name it.
“We get stopped all the time and people always comment on how light they are when I say they’re mine.”
The couple plan on having more children in the future, although they’re not sure when.
Catherine said: “We want more children but we’re going to wait for things to settle down.
“We were told the likelihood of having another white child was impossible after Jonah but it did happen twice, so doctors are really astounded.”