By Emilyn Gil
Having a baby is surrounded by excitement and mystery. Is it a boy or girl? How will the labor go? What should we name him or her?
One particularly exciting part is finding out what the baby looks like, and pinpointing which characteristics come from which side of the family. But some babies are born with certain features completely unique to them.
In Jessica Smith’s case, her baby had one feature that no one could have expected!
The “Doll Like” Baby
Jessica Smith from Amory, Mississippi was a mother of three children when she became pregnant with her fourth daughter. During the delivery of her new baby the doctor informed her that her baby had lots of hair. What he didn’t mention was the surprising color!
The darling baby girl, who they named Devina, was born on May 1, 2017 with a full head of shockingly white hair. Even the nurses were surprised, and mentioned that they had never before seen hair nearly this white.
Other than her hair, there was nothing else out of the ordinary. She weighed in at 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19 inches long. Jessica shared that they didn’t take Devina out much during her first few months, but during one of her hospital visits a little girl saw the darling Devina and said she looked like a baby doll.
When Jessica and her family posted pictures of Devina online, they received thousands of views! Some people didn’t believe the pictures and claimed that they were photoshopped. Others compared her delicate locks to the game of thrones character Daenerys.
As Devina grew up, her hair remained its pristine, silvery, white color and, unless she decides to dye it, will most likely stay that way her whole life.
The doctors attributed Devina’s white hair to partial albinism, sometimes referred to as towhead. They say that Devina will need eye examinations as she grows, because many albinos develop a sensitivity of their eyes. Other than that, Devina is expected to live a happy, healthy life.
What Is Albinism?
Albinism is a rare condition that affects the pigmentation of the human body. Those with albinism (albinos) tend to have fair colored skin, hair, and even eyebrows and eyelashes. In Devina’s case because she has only partial albinism, her hair and possibly her eyes seem to be the only things affected by her condition.
As may be the case for Devina, albinos can have vision problems later in life such as rapid, involuntary eye movements, increased light sensitivity, and reduced sharpness. Sun exposure can also be an issue for albinos, and too much time in the sun can result in skin damage and skin cancers. (1)
Even with today’s technology, you never really know exactly what your baby is going to look like, and whether they will be born with brown hair, no hair, or snow white hair! The good news is that albinism isn’t too much cause for alarm, and Devina as well as other children with partial albinism should be able to live happy, healthy lives.