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Parents Sam and Nia Rader of Terrell, Texas, became viral vlogging sensations after Sam posted a video surprising his wife with the news that she was pregnant.
They join a growing number of families who are sharing every moment of their lives -- from labor pains and birthing moments to potty training -- on YouTube and in some cases, turning a profit from it.
But some say the Raders and other parents like them are taking it too far, overexposing their children and oversharing the good, the bad and the ugly family moments.
When Sam, 29, and Nia, 26, who have two children, posted their pregnancy surprise video to announce their third child, the video skyrocketed to more than 14 million views in just two weeks. But a few days later, Nia posted another video saying she suffered a miscarriage.
“We had already announced the pregnancy video and so like a lot of people knew that I was pregnant and I was getting congratulations like left and right,” Nia Rader told “Nightline.” “Once I miscarried that was really difficult for me like, do I tell them? ... you know it would of been obvious in our channel anyways if we just stopped talking and my belly never grew. Because we vlog every day so, we had to like fill them in on that you know it’s just kind of like a choice you have to make.”
But it was a tweet the couple posted on their account where they said, “our tiny baby brought 10 million views to her video and 100,000 new people into our lives. She turned our life around and brought us closer together,” that turned public sympathy into skepticism.
The couple was slammed online for touting their pregnancy post-miscarriage, and some viewers questioned whether the pregnancy was ever real in the first place. But the Raders insist it wasn’t staged.
“The last thing we do is try to deceive our audience,” Sam Rader told “Nightline.” “A lot of people thought we were um, as if we were gaining from our baby’s death and that wasn’t it at all… I was just proud that those huge [YouTube] numbers… [those numbers] are important to us so I was just proud of her.”
Sam said they have no regrets about sharing their pregnancy early on, or any of the other videos they post, although they do think their kids will be embarrassed to look back at some of the videos.
“Like the time Tiffany put a beet up her nose, jelly bean, and she had to blow that out, we put that on there. It was too funny not to put,” Sam said.
“We’ll probably look back too and think, ‘what were we doing, why were we saying that?’” Nia added.
In fact, Sam recently quit his job as a nurse to pursue the family’s vlog on YouTube full time. They’ve had sponsorships from big companies like Audible and NatureBox.
But the Raders say it’s not about the money. Their driving purpose, they said, is to share their Christian family values.
“The goal is to shine the light of God to get the message of Christ to the world,” Sam said. “That’s our main goal as a YouTube family and to show what a family looks like when God is in their home.”
On Friday, weeks after their interview with "Nightline," the Raders drew criticism again when Sam was outed as having been a member of AshleyMadison.com, the dating website known for matching up married cheaters, in 2013.
When reached by “Nightline” today, the couple declined to comment on the AshleyMadison account, but instead referred to a video Sam posted on YouTube Friday. In the video, Sam said, “The account was open out of pure, fleshly desires and sinful curiosity… I’ve sought forgiveness to God and he has forgiven me… I never met with a single person face-to-face from that website and that I never had an affair with anybody, ever, when I’ve been married with Nia.”
For now, Sam and Nia say they have no plans to stop sharing their lives online. Sam said he wants to be able to look back and show their children “the ups and the downs” of family life, and that they love them every day.
“They’ve made our lives beautiful. I just think they’re going to love it,” he said. “I would love to look back on my life as a kid. Even if we quit a couple years down the road and do something else, looking back on their early years, I think that would be amazing