Simone Thurber gave birth to her fourth daughter in a remote Australian creek—and the birth has been viewed 52 million times. The 23-minute birthing video was posted to YouTube (warning: graphic) in 2013, but is now getting press. Thurber, a birth therapist and trained doula whose three previous births were water births of a more traditional nature, says in the video's intro that she had long dreamed of giving birth in nature. Her partner, Nick, was amenable to the idea, reports the Sun. The then-39-year-old was living in Australia, and a friend offered up his home on the edge of the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, "the oldest rainforest in the world," she says. She chose a creek with "pristine pure" fresh water a few minutes' drive away.
As labor began at 11pm, Thurber assumed the baby would arrive before the necessary daylight and warm temps did, so she labored outdoors in a tub at her friend's home. But at 9am, ready to push, she headed for the creek, armed not with a doctor or midwife but her family and a black yoga-type mat. Around 10:50am, Perouze Seraphina was born, and the video was posted on the girl's first birthday. In its description, Thurber notes, "This video is explicit, especially as it is shot outdoors in broad daylight. If you choose to watch it, please watch it with respect." She continues, "My sense of wholeness and peace was bigger and deeper than anything I had ever felt before" after the birth. A sad footnote: The Daily Mail notes Nick, who is shown in the video and who Thurber refers to as "the greatest love I have ever known" in the video's closing lines, has since died. (This woman spent her labor putting on makeup.)