There's the miracle of childbirth. And then there's the miracle of a child shaking hands with her doctor before she's exited the womb.
In October, Randy Atkins was poised with camera as his wife Alicia gave birth via C-section. He was planning on capturing the moment for friends and family, but he didn't expect to snap an image that would captivate the planet.
In an unbelievable debut, Nevaeh Atkins, age one millisecond, reached out from her mother's belly and offered her own delivery doctor a hand.
"The doctor called me over and said, 'Hey, she's grabbing my finger.' So I ran over there and just grabbed the shot and I was just in awe looking at it. It was such an amazing picture," Randy Atkins told the website AZFamily.com. The Phoenix-based Atkins and his wife Alicia shared the incredible photo on Facebook the day after Christmas. Soon after the image was shared by hundreds and viewed by more than 10,000 users, making it the first and most unexpected viral baby photo of 2013.
"We didn't think we were going to get such positive feedback. We thought we would get more negative 'that's disgusting…'" Alicia remarked. "[Instead] everybody just thought it was the best thing in the world."
In an age of doctored images that make the surreal seem almost possible, Atkins' very real image is particularly startling. According to staff at the Arizona hospital where Nevaeh was born, the "baby reaching" phenomenon has happened in the past--or so it's been said. But Atkins' image may be the first hard evidence.
Babies can shake hands from the womb. Pretty impressive. That's more than you can say for some adults.
Alicia tagged her doctor Allan Sawyer, who also delivered her two other children, in the photo she posted to Facebook, and even presented him with canvas print of the image. That is, after all, Sawyer's big finger in the picture. But back to the far more incredible little hand.
"I am in awe of this photo," Alicia wrote beneath her post. "Something to remember forever."
It's also something to use in twenty years, when Nevaeh is filling out job applications. Go ahead, ask the kid who practically delivered herself if she's ambitious. Two words: see photo.