Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sarah Palin's Stories: There are Two Versions of Everything - UPDATE

Many readers pointed out several contradictions regarding Sarah Palin's statements about her pregnancy and labour with Trig, so I decided to present them all in one post.


NY Times:

Before her son was born, Ms. Palin went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that his arrival would not compromise her work. She hid the pregnancy. She traveled to Texas a month before her due date to give an important speech, delivering it even though her amniotic fluid was leaking. Three days after giving birth, she returned to work.


Ms. Palin’s three-day maternity leave has now become legend among mothers. But aides say she eased back into work, first stopping by her office in Anchorage for a meeting, bringing not only the baby but also her husband to look after him.

Many high-powered parents separate work and children; Ms. Palin takes a wholly different approach. “She’s the mom and the governor, and they’re not separate,” Ms. Cole said.

ADN announcement:

"To any critics who say a woman can't think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I'd just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave," Palin said.

NY Times:

At her baby shower, Ms. Palin joked about her months of secrecy, Ms. Lane said. “About the seventh month I thought I’d better let people know,” Ms. Palin said. “So it was really great,” she continued. “I was only pregnant a month.”

In this video Sarah Palin says she hid the pregnancy, but wasn't trying to hide it:

In this clip, Sarah contradicts the first paragraph of the NY times article. If she had warned everybody that she had a family, why hide the pregnancy?


According to the press release from her own office, labour had started in Texas:

I made a short version of the "Wild Ride" interview. There were signs of labour and she confirmed the "amniotic leaky."

Sarah Palin didn't mention the leak in her book, but confirmed that she was in labour.

Going Rogue:

The next month, Todd and I checked into a hotel in Dallas. The following day I was scheduled to keynote another oil and gas conference. My pregnancy was going fine, and with five weeks to go, I felt great. But at 4 a.m., a strange sensation low in my belly woke me and I sat up straight in my bed.

It can’t be, I thought. It’s way too early. Moments later, I shook Todd awake.

“Something’s going on.”

He sat up in bed, instantly alert. “I’m calling CBJ.”

“No, don’t do that. It’s one a.m. in Alaska.”

I didn’t want to call anyone yet. I just wanted to take stock and see whether this baby was really coming. I also wanted time and pray and asked God silently but fervently to let everything be okay.

Desperation for this baby overwhelmed me.
Please don’t let anything happen to this baby. It occurred to me, once and for all. I’m so in love with this child, please God, protect him! After all my doubts and fears, I had fallen in love with this precious child. The worst thing in the world would be that I would lose him. God knew what He was doing.

Over my protests, Todd called CBJ. I told her that I felt fine and absolutely did not want to cancel my speech and disappoint the folks at the conference, including my cohost, Texas Governor Rick Perry. We agreed that I would stay in contact with CBJ through the day, I’d take it easy, give my speech, then catch an earlier flight back to Alaska. I still had plenty of time.

Later that afternoon we entered a packed house at the energy conference, where I’d speak on the urgent need to tap conventional supplies and innovate on stabilizing renewable sources.

Big laughs. More contractions.

Then I introduced everybody to Todd, Alaska's "First Dude," who, instead of sitting at the head of the table, was standing at the back of the hall, giving me the "get on with it, let's keep it short this time" look and practically holding the door open for our quick exit to the airport.

The audience graciously gave me a standing ovation. Then I handed the mic back to Rick and walked off the stage. "Hey," Rick drawled over the sound system with a chuckle, "we're not finished with the program!" I turned around, smiled, waved, and kept moving. "I know you're pregnant," Rick said, joking into the mic. "But don't tell me you're going off to have the baby right now!"

The audience laughed. I smiled and waved good-bye.
I thought, if you only knew! I reached Todd at the exit, and he eyed me with a grin, "Love this state, but we can't have a fish picker born in Texas."

(...) Many hours and two plane flights later, with Todd and our daughters nearby, I delivered Trig Paxson Van Palin into the world at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

If she had not leaked, why did her doctor induce labour?

NY Times:

When Ms. Palin arrived at the hospital, she was still not in labor, so her doctor induced it, Ms. Bruce said. Trig was born early the next morning, weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces.


According to some sources, the fact that Trig was born with Down syndrome was apparent to Willow.

NY Times:

Inside Ms. Palin’s room, her daughter Willow, 14, immediately noticed her new brother’s condition, according to People magazine. “He looks like he has Down syndrome,” Willow said. “Why didn’t you tell us?”

People Magazine:

On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to 6-lb., 2-oz. Trig, five weeks early. As Todd and their three daughters gathered around the bedside (Track, an Army private, listened in by phone from his base in Fairbanks), Willow said of the new arrival,

"He looks like he has Down syndrome."
Palin, who says her own qualms were laid to rest "the minute [Trig] was born," felt a lump in her throat.

"If he does, you know you will still love him, Willow. It'll be okay."

Willow pressed: "But why didn't you tell us?"

Sarah went into an explanation about how she wanted to keep the pregnancy short for their sake, and she also admitted she was busy and hadn't reconcilled her own ambivalent feelings. She apologized to her children for the deception but wanted them to understand: "Trig is perfection, and I can't imagine life without him."

In her own book, Sarah Palin doesn't mention Willow's remark, but recalls a remark made by Todd.

Going Rogue:

The girls gently cooed and cuddled and quietly helped swaddle their new baby brother. Todd beamed. I heard him whisper to CBJ, "Hmmm, he doesn't look Down's."

In her wild ride interview, she said his condition wasn't apparent.

Wild ride transcript:

Reporter: In the family statement that was issued by… it said through early testing you knew you would have some special needs.

Palin: Right…

Reporter: Can you explain?

Palin: Right, yeah, well, He’s got that extra chromosome, he has Down’s Syndrome. And, um, ya can’t tell at this stage by looking ya know but, um, there are some characteristics there that I think will become more apparent, but just absolutely perfect in our eyes and we’re just very, very, very blessed and, um it’s, its a perfect situation for us when we first heard it was, ya know, kind of confusing and, and at first blush hearing the news it was you know, I… it was received by me for a couple of hours there after hearing the news as, uh, very, very challenging… even sad… that day but just knowing that there’s purpose in every situation… there’s certainly good purpose in every child. Just knowing that, um, we should feel blessed that, uh god would choose us...

Another question was whether Sarah Palin had said to anybody that Trig was going to be born with Down Syndrome before the birth was announced. No, but she told Elan Frank it was a boy.

The first report about Trig's condition first appeared on the ADN on April 21, 2008:

Palin and her husband, Todd, showed the baby, Trig Paxson Van Palin, to a few reporters and talked about the sooner-than-expected delivery. Trig arrived about a month early and has Down syndrome, the governor confirmed. Testing during early pregnancy revealed the condition. Palin said she was sad at first but they now feel blessed that God chose them. The couple has lots of family support, she said.

A second article the next day went into more detail about it.

The whole story is a mass of contradictions, which is not surprising at all.

In one of the videos, we heard Sarah Palin mention that she took Piper to work with her the day after her birth on March 19, 2001. Here's a photo of Sarah Palin 27 days after Piper's birth (Easter 2001, April 15):

Here are some photos of Sarah Palin after Trig's birth:

There you are. There's a bit more material for discussion, which hopefully may be nearing the end.


Our reader ItCouldHappenInAmerica lightened a detail of one of the photos of Sarah post-partum and we can observe that she was as flat as when she was 7 months pregnant. Her tight abs are indeed extraordinary!

Gryphen has the latest instalment of Laura Novak's talk with Brad Scharlott and Phil Munger has an article by Geoffrey Dunn.