JACKSON, Mississippi - A 12-year-old girl had the lesson of a lifetime this week when she helped deliver her baby brother. Captivating photos posted on Facebook show the magical moment unfold, and the look on 12-year-old Jacee Dellapenna's face is priceless.
Dellapenna's mom, DeDe Carraway, said her daughter has wanted this experience for a long time. Just 18 months ago, Jacee had asked her mom and stepfather if she could be in the delivery room for the birth of their son, Zadyn. At the time, the couple worried that she was still a bit too young for the experience.
When Carraway learned she was pregnant again, Jacee had a simple request.
"She told me, 'I want to be in the delivery room, Mama.' My husband and I talked about and she's been been learning a lot about the human body and she is a little older, so we said yes." said Carraway.
The original plan was for Jacee to be present in the delivery room near the top of her mother's bedside.
"She started crying and said she couldn't see," said Carraway.
That's when Carraway's obstetrician, Dr. Walter Wolfe, had an idea that she called "crazy." Dr. Wolfe suggested Jacee jump in and assist with the delivery.
"I was in shock! I told her as long as her stepdad doesn't care, go ahead," said Carraway.
Carraway said her daughter suited up and was ready to go. In photos captured of the emotional delivery, Jacee's face says it all. She is clearly overcome with emotion as she holds her newborn baby brother.
"I was super nervous I would mess up," said Dellapenna. "I have played fake doctor before, but this was different. It was life-changing."
Dellapenna even had the opportunity to cut the baby's umbilical cord.
"It's pretty cool, I never would have imagined it would happen," said Dellapenna.
Carraway posted the photos on Facebook and her friend, Nikki Smith, asked to share them on her Facebook page and in their pregnancy group.
Smith's photos ended up going viral and have been shared more than 177,000 times.
"I am surprised," said Carraway. "I never expected the photos to go viral. The response has been amazing and (mostly) positive."
Dellapenna said she "would love" to do it again, but her mom doesn't plan on having another little one anytime soon.
However, Dellapenna has found a way to experience the miracle of childbirth again and again.
"I want to be an OB-GYN. I'm going to work hard and study and find my way there," said Dellapenna.