Jacee Dellapena has always dreamed of being a doctor.
In fact, the 12-year-old has played at being a medical expert many times before, but was keen to get some find out more about what the job entails. So it makes sense that she asked her parents if she could be present at the birth of her baby brother.
She hoped to watch the action unfold from afar – but, thanks to a very understanding doctor, the 12-year-old got the experience of a lifetime when she was allowed to scrub up and deliver her new baby brother with her own two hands.
Talking to NBC News, Jacee explained that the original plan was for her to stay near the top of her mother’s bedside and hold her hand.
However, when the youngster became upset that she couldn’t see what was happening, the doctor suggested she suit up and deliver the baby herself.
“I started crying because I thought I wasn't going to get to see him be born, because I was too short,” she said.
Her mother, Dede, added: “Doctor Wolf said, ‘Why don't you just let her suit up and deliver the baby?’”
Somewhat understandably, Dee was none too impressed by this idea at first.
“I said ‘What? No!’”
However, with a little coaxing and encouragement, she relented – and it wasn’t long before her daughter had permission to scrub up.
Dressed in a hospital gown and a pair of rubber gloves, Jacee carefully listened to the instructions of Dr Wolf (who stood behind the schoolgirl the entire time).
And it wasn’t long before she was able to experience the incredible sense of euphoria that comes from following your dreams.
“I was nervous I was going to mess up but it was the best moment of my life,” she said.
Within moments, Jacee had delivered her baby brother, Cayson.
“I actually, like delivered him,” she told the news site proudly. “Like, [the doctor] 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’.”
The entire experience – including the moment an overwhelmed Jacee cut the umbilical cord – was captured on camera.
The photos have since been shared on Facebook by family friend Nikki Smith, and they’ve proven a hit with social media users: they’ve been shared more than 193,696 times, liked more than 221,000 times, and garnered thousands of comments.
But, while most chose to praise Jacee’s expert doctoring skills, some criticised her family for allowing her to be involved in the birth in the first place.
To these people, Smith has responded: “If you don't like the post just keep scrolling, no need to comment and speak negative. Birth is a natural process and there is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing her daughter to witness this beautiful moment.
“It's not for everyone but Jacee was a rockstar and helped deliver a newborn… I don't know about you but I wouldn't have when I was 12!”
She added: “Mother and baby are being discharged home today and Jacee is ecstatic about the feedback she's getting.”
You can see the full album below: