Thursday, 21 April 2011

Trig, Ears and Hallways

I would like to focus on two issues that are raised regularly in our discussions. Trig's ear and the hospital hallway.


The discussion about Ruffles has been going on for a while now. I believe the ruffled ear alone is inconclusive when considering two separate babies. When I looked for photos of my firstborn, featured in the post "Pregnant Women and Their Babies - Spot the Difference," I came across a photo where my son had a "ruffled" ear when he was about one week old. A photo taken a couple of months later shows a perfectly normal ear. There was no intervention whatsoever. Billy's ear simply "unruffled."

Regina's son, ruffled and unruffled

I also found a site that explains how ears can be corrected without surgery.

25% to 35% of babies born in the United States each year are born with an ear deformity. That is 1.5 million babies each year.

There are 4 types of ear defects:
1-small or absent ears
2-folded ears also called lop ear where the top of the ear is folded downward or Stahl's ear when the top of the ear is pinched like a Star Trek Vulcan look
3-cup or constricted ear which looks like there is an invisible ring around the ear squeezing it
4-protruding ears that stick out from the sides of the head

Either or both ears can be involved in any of these processes. Historically 2 and 3 have been treated preferably shortly after birth with the application of splints that were made for each patient. Since the baby has its mother's estrogen flowing through its blood stream for a month or so after birth it is thought that this estrogen makes the baby's young cartilage malleable. Therefore if you hold the infant ear in a specific position for a month or more it will then keep that shape after the splint is removed. If you to wait until later in childhood or teenage/adult years the splints will not work and surgery will be required which never gives as good a result as splints applied during infancy.

Now we have commercially available ear splints called Earwell that can be easily be modified for each baby, are easy to apply and give consistent good results.

Here's another example of what can be achieved using non-surgical methods:

There is a longer, more comprehensive video on the site linked above.

We haven't seen photos of Trig or of any other possible Trig with their ear in a splint.

I believe the baby/babies size and general appearance should be taken into account as well.


Using the sizes of people's hands and arms in relation to the baby, it looks like Trig shrunk considerably after his birth, very strange...


Our reader Curiouser sent me the following photo, where the babies are seen to the same scale. This section is about appearance, but if the size of the photos make one baby look much bigger than the other, it can be misleading...

As I said above, the baby we saw in Sally's arms on April 18 and with Todd three days later appears to have shrunk and some of the photos of Trig don't seem to be of the same baby. The ear alone doesn't prove the whole charade in a conclusive way, but the combination of all the oddities still makes one go hmm...


I took a virtual tour of the maternity suites when it was available on the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center website. It has been redesigned and they no longer offer the tour. They have a very poor video of the general facilities and that's all. I found out that what I believed to be a hallway outside a maternity suite was in fact one of them. The famous screenshot of the KTUU newsreel of Sally holding Trig, standing next to Chuck Heath, was not taken in the hallway. The crew went into the maternity suite to film and we could assume that Sarah Palin was in a separate room in the same suite (or anywhere else within the hospital, for all we know).

I've managed to save a couple of photos of parents with their babies in a similar room, from the wayback machine. Couples wouldn't go into the hallway to have their photographs taken with their newborn babies...

Parents 1
Parents 2

Please note the details:
Sofa in Sally and Chuck's photo

Sofa in Parents 2 photo

Window detail Sally

Window detail Parents 1 (lightened)

These are photos that I assume are of general reception areas:

And here's Chuck in the area outside the maternity suites:

I probably complicated the Ruffles story a little bit more, but it's good to look at other possibilities and to look at the photos again, with an open mind.

Hopefully the photos of Mat-Su birthing facilities will help clear the "hallway" confusion. I've been meaning to publish these pictures for a long time and now I've done it! It's better to be accurate, n'est-ce pas?