Friday, 22 April 2011

Questions the Media Could (Respectfully) Ask Sarah Palin

I've been focusing on certain aspects of Babygate recently. I have two reasons for doing this: To restore some of the information that was lost due to a photosharing account being deactivated and to add my two pennies worth to the story. I have never written many posts on this topic. Most issues had already been covered by other blogs and I'm not the investigative type who makes contacts with Alaska locals, hoping to obtain first-hand information about this particular pregnancy or unearth some tidbits about Sarah Palin's earlier pregnancies.

What I think I do well is look at the easily available information and ask questions about inconsistencies in Sarah Palin's tall tales. I like to connect the dots. It works for her political record and it works for the mysterious pregnancy and labour with Trig.

Babygate made a come back and is being discussed again.

I particularly liked the series of conversations between Brad Scharlott and Laura Novak. Both are puzzled about the media's lack of curiosity about the hoax and Laura brings the perspective of a mother who went through a complicated pregnancy to the table, offering a more realistic account of her experiences than Sarah Palin's badly concocted tales of fishpickers, erratic labour and abs of steel.

Geoffrey Dunn focused on the dangers of the wild ride and what it says about a "pro-life" mother who put her unborn baby with special needs at risk.

Most of the media simply dismissed the story, repeating the argument Sarah Palin and the campaign put out there to rebut the rumours: Bristol couldn't have given birth to a baby in April and to another baby in December of the same year. Case closed. Others added the tired statistics about older women having greater chances of conceiving a baby with Down Syndrome. They didn't bother to do any research into childbirth, comprehensive statistics about Down syndrome or anything else. They're still stuck in early September 2008 and won't budge.

Sarah Palin's camp didn't miss the opportunity to start another smokescreen in the "documentary" about Sarah Palin on E! True Hollywood Stories. Apparently, Sarah already had tight abs when she was pregnant with Piper. She's a truly remarkable and unusual woman: She can control labour at will and her body works in a backward fashion.

Sarah Palin's tight abs about one month after Piper's birth

That's when I like to come in and ask a few questions. A quick google search produces many results about second and subsequent pregnancies. I found an article about a second pregnancy. I wonder what the scenario would be for a fifth!

- You tend to show about a month sooner. After having a baby, your uterus doesn't shrink all the way down to its previous size, which gives it a head start in growing during the next pregnancy.

- You carry your baby lower. Your abdominal muscles get stretched so much by the first pregnancy that they're weaker. As a result, they can't support a baby as well as they did before, so the fetus drops lower in your abdomen. The upside to carrying lower is that you'll probably breathe more easily and eat more comfortably than in your first pregnancy. The downside? You may find that the urge to urinate frequently starts earlier and you may have increased pelvic discomfort from the additional pressure on your bladder and pelvic area. You can relieve some of the discomfort with Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Sarah Palin's body is a marvel. Instead of having weaker abdominal muscles after giving birth to three babies, hers get stronger and tighter: Piper and Trig pregnancies were contained until the last minute! Her body also has a secret compartment to store the growing baby, placenta and amniotic fluid conveniently tucked away, completely out of sight, and the cumbersome bump doesn't interfere with her centre of gravity.

This fitness enthusiast tells a different story, which is about her first pregnancy:

Once I crossed over, into my second trimester, my energy levels skyrocketed, and I started to feel like myself again. My workouts became even more enjoyable. I also found myself truly enjoying my growing belly and highly active baby. My workout intensity increased slightly. During the first half of my second trimester, I wasn't really "showing", and it was very easy to maneuver my way through my workouts. But, by the end of my second trimester, my belly began to "pop", and my center of gravity shifted. Although It is still fairly easy for me, to maneuver my way through my workouts, I am even more cautious, than before, when performing exercises, that require me to stand.

At 28 weeks pregnant, I have continued to maintain the muscle tone, in my arms, legs, back, chest, and, shoulders. I have yet to experience any odd pains, exercise exhaustion, or any other complications for that matter. My workouts have not changed, very much, from my pre-pregnancy routine, but I have made some minimal changes. I am still feeling really good, and I have been able to maintain most of my pre-pregnancy physique (excluding my abdominal muscles - of course!).

Poor woman! She wouldn't have been able to take a brisk walk around Juneau in very high heels...

The bloggers who have been writing about Sarah Palin's amazing fifth pregnancy don't have the same resources as the media. We tend to rely on Google to obtain information. Some have more information than others because they work in the medical field. We're not really interested in establishing who gave birth to Trig, we're simply convinced that Sarah Palin didn't.

The clues we picked up in order to come to this conclusion came not from a conspiracy theory, but from the improbability of the story Sarah Palin herself put forward. The media could forget about the Bristol part of the story and focus on Sarah Palin's pregnancy and labour alone. It would take the conspiracy element away and leave only the medical improbabilities to be explored.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the media tied Sarah Palin to a chair and fired a few probing questions? It could be done in a very respectful way.

"Dear governor (she likes that), you have mentioned your tight abs as the reason you didn't show during your pregnancy with Trig. Considering that you have matured normally in your adult life, without any serious weight fluctuations or health issues, how do you explain your body working differently from other women's bodies? A photograph of your healthy, young, beautiful self in an earlier pregnancy shows a very large baby bump. Normally, women show earlier and get bigger with each subsequent pregnancy. You have a small frame, so where in your body was your fifth baby growing? Where did you stash the placenta and the amniotic fluid?"

"Best governor ever, I did some searching and found several accounts of pregnancies from very fit, athletic women, many years younger than your fantastic self. They continued to exercize almost normally, but reported changes in their centers of gravity and their growing bellies. Their photos show very fit bodies and yet their bumps showed. On the other hand, very large, obese women don't show at all, you couldn't tell whether they were pregnant or simply fatter. That's definitely not your case, you're hawt! How do you explain your tight abdominal muscles working as a steel girdle, capable of keeping your profile perfectly flat at 7 months when even professional athletes failed to disguise their bumps much earlier in their pregnancies?"

"Your Highness, moving on from this boring subject of tight abs - after all, you said they're tight and I accept it - I have a question about that amniotic leaky. You said you were in regular touch with your doctor by telephone. Please tell me, how did your award winning doctor perform the necessary tests to confirm the nature of the leaky fluids over the phone?"

"Ah, Your Majesty, my colleague's question reminds me of another little question: You said you sat up straight in bed, with a strange sensation low in your belly. You were worried it was too early and feared for the life of your precious child. Your irondogging husband rang the doctor over your protests. I assume both your gracious self and your intrepid husband considered the possibility of you being in the early stages of labour. I'm curious, how did your doctor perform a pelvic examination to see if your cervix was dilating? Perhaps you and your doctor would be so kind as to share these telephone techniques in obstetric examinations with the rest of the professionals in the field."

"Wait, wait! Your Saintness, now that your precious child and your desperation for this baby have been mentioned, I think it would be interesting for you to expand on this topic. Early tests showed that your baby had Down syndrome. You had studied all that was available about the condition because you wanted to be prepared. As you no doubt learned from the material you read, babies with Down syndrome are prone to heart problems and may have complications at birth. Considering that your fishpicking gift from God could make an appearance a month early - as you said, the leaky, the strange sensations and the contractions during your speech were signs that you wouldn't be able to be pregnant for, uh, um, another month - wouldn't it have been safer for your miraculous baby if you had gone to the nearest hospital with a NICU? How did your doctor monitor the condition of the baby over the telephone?"

And so on and so forth. All that's necessary for the media to come up with a few questions is a healthy dose of curiosity, a bit of googling, an entertaining read of Going Rogue and a careful listen to Sarah Palin's account of the wild ride.

It couldn't be simpler! No conspiracy theories, just good, honest to God (He knows what He's doing) questions.