A Yorkshire woman has given birth to a miracle baby after being told she had little to no chance of having children.
Shannon Conarty, from Harrogate, suffered from a hormone imbalance when she was 15 years old and was eventually diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – leading to the heartbreaking discovery she would only have a 10 percent chance of being able to conceive naturally.
For three years, however, the 22-year-old didn’t give up trying and in 2018 something amazing happened – Shannon discovered she was pregnant.
Four months ago, she gave birth to little Ava, a healthy little girl – who also happened to be born with Albinism.
This is a congenital disorder, which in humans is often characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment in skin, hair and eyes – hair often appears white and eyes can appear to be red.
“Becoming a mum has always been a dream of mine,” Shannon said. “Ava feels like a little miracle, and even more so after she was diagnosed with albinism.”
Albinism is a condition that affects around one in 17,000 people in the UK and as it causes a lack of pigment, it can also affect people’s eyesight.
But Shannon is simply ecstatic to be a mother – defying all the odds pitted against her.
When she was in school she first started to become ill with the hormone imbalance that caused her low fertility.
“My weight fluctuated, and my ovarian cysts were causing me a lot of pain,” she added, “At the time, doctors revealed I had a 10 percent chance of conceiving children naturally as my fallopian tubes were covered in cysts. As I was still in high school at the time, I never gave it a second thought.”
But, since the age of 18, she’s dreamed of becoming a mother and starting a family with her partner, 30-year-old Tom.
She said: “She says: “We fell in love and when I revealed that I was unlikely to have children, Tom was understanding. When I was 18, we started trying for a baby, but I never fell pregnant.
“Every month when I got my period, I was devastated. And the thought of never having children made me feel depressed. We even decided to have IVF if I didn’t conceive by the time I was 25.”
Out of the blue Shannon suddenly fell pregnant with baby Ava in January 2018.
“My pregnancy went without a hitch, but I had extra scans to monitor me. When she was born, I noticed she had red eyes and white hair, but thought nothing of it,” shed said.
Eventually Ava was diagnosed with Albinism, which did cause some concern for Tom and Shannon for when Ava gets older.
Shannon said: “Every time we leave the house, people comment how beautiful she is. But despite the admiring remarks, I do worry about her when she gets older.
“Due to her sight problems, she’ll be unable to drive, and I worry about her being bullied at school. But me and Tom will raise her to love herself as she is. After all, she’s our little miracle.”