While witnessing a sibling's birth can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one 12-year-old from Mississippi got to take it up a notch and help deliver her baby brother.
Jacee Dellapena was sad she would be too short to see her baby brother's birth. She had already missed the birth of her other brother, Zadyn, because she was too young. But to the surprise of her and her mom, Dede Carraway, the doctor offered to let Jacee suit up and help deliver the baby.
"I told her, as long as Zach (Carraway's husband) doesn't care, go ahead, and he said 'Go for it, Jacee!' She got suited up for delivery," Carraway wrote on the Love What Matters Facebook page. "Although the pain from the contractions and the pushing hurt me so bad, watching Jacee's expressions on her face (was) like no other."
The doctor, Dr. Walter Wolfe, helped guide the seventh-grader through the process as she delivered her 7-pound, 6-ounce baby brother, Cayson. She even got to cut the umbilical cord.
“I want people to know that Zack was in the room, too," Carraway told Today. "He gave up a lot of his special bonding time with the baby and gave it to Jacee.”
Zack, Jacee's stepfather and Cayson's father, got the whole thing on camera. The emotions on Jacee's face say it all.
“I actually, like delivered him, like, he let me actually push down and pull the baby out. … I was like, wow, like I’ve played fake doctor before, but this is, like, the real thing, this is the real deal. I was really nervous,” Jacee told MS News Now. “I was scared I was going to mess up. … It was, like, the best moment of my life."
The incredible photo series has gone viral with at least 195,000 shares on family friend Nikki Smith's page alone. But of course, Facebook users have their opinions.
Some criticized the decisions to let a 12-year-old attend a baby's birth, let alone be front and center delivering one.
"Am I the only one who thinks it's not so great to make a 12-year-old girl watch her mother's reproductive organs tear apart ... unless its a sneaky tactic to scare her out of having unprotected sex," said one commenter.
"To each their own, but I'm not really down with letting my child stare at/touch around on my vagina and asshole while it gets torn open. 😧😖 If my momma made me do this, I'd be completely traumatized," a mom wrote.
But for every negative comment, there were at least 10 others coming to the family's defense, praising both the unbroken bond Jacee and Cayson and the beautiful connection between mom and daughter.
For Carraway, the decision wasn't too difficult.
“(Jacee has) already had sex ed at school. I didn’t see no reason why she shouldn’t be there,” she told Today. “I don’t hide anything from her. I think that the human body is natural and if she learned about it at school, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t learn about it at home, too.”
The mom also told Mom.me that the family is now doing very well, and they try to ignore the negativity. "Everyone is going to have their opinion ... we know what was right for our family!"