Monday, May 19, 2008

Where Did She Get those Blue Eyes?


Lil' Red is our fourth and last child. Beautiful, easy-going, the best sleeper we've ever had. Daddy often says that if we had Lil' Red first he would have had ten children. Mommy says Lil' Red was born at exactly the right time! You are our fair-skinned lily in a family of brown berries. Friends often comment, "She looks a little different than the rest of you." It's true. Lil' Red has strawberry blond hair and those blue, blue eyes.

Where did you get those beautiful eyes?  

All children are born with blue eyes. At least, this was true for all my four children. The reason is because of melanin, the brown pigment molecule that colors your skin, hair, and eyes. It hasn't been fully deposited in the irises, or darkened by exposure to ultraviolet light at the time of birth.

Melanin is a protein. Like other proteins, the amount and type you get is coded in your genes. Irises containing a large amount of melanin appear black or brown. If eyes contain a very small amount of melanin, they will appear blue or light grey. It takes about six months for eye color to become stable.

I have brown eyes. My husband has brown eyes. Each of our first three children's eyes quickly turned from blue to brown shortly after birth.  

Lil' Red was born and her eyes were blue. Naturally, I thought it was only a matter of time before her eyes would turn from blue to brown and she would be a bonafide member of this brown-eyed family. I was wrong.

 So...

How can two brown-eyed parents have a blue-eyed baby?

For  two parents with brown eyes to have a blue-eyed child, both parents must genetically be Bb. Meaning they inherited a (B) brown-eyed gene from one parent and (b)blue-eyed gene from the other parent.  In our family, we have Grandpa Bill to thank for his (b) and Grandma Carrie to thank for her (b).  When this happens, there is a 1 in 4 chance that these parents will have a bb child with blue eyes.

We nailed this statistic on the head. 3/4 of our children have brown eyes and 1/4 of our children have blue. Understanding Genetics has an interesting diagram and more details about two brown-eyed parents having a blue-eyed baby.

Our great little sleeper! 

For more about finding Lil' Red sleeping click to Where's the baby?

Baby girl, we love you!

Lil' Red we look forward to watching you grow and your unique personality shining through.

"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on"
-Carl Sandburg

4 comments:

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I love Carl Sandburg. You certainly do have a collection of beautiful and spirited children. You're truly blessed!

Mom24 said...

She is so precious. I think eye color is such a funny thing. I have brown eyes, DH has blue, yet we have 2 with green eyes, and 2 with blue--not a brown eyed child amongst them. I guess recessive genes won every time with ours! Thanks for stopping by today, and for the tip. Stacey

wright said...

Those pictures are adorable!!! My baby has blue eyes and I have dark brown. I just assumed she would end up with eyes like mine, bue she got her daddy's baby blues!

MamaGeek said...

SHE is SO SO beautiful. Talk about 32 flavors of cuteness. Eye color is a funny thing and it's something that shocked us when our baby has blue eyes too!