Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 2 - Chapter 71 -- Delivering the Real Issue

[this post is a reprint of an article from Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis. It was originally published on January 17, 2009. It is being reprinted here now, partially in response to the ongoing attacks against Linda Kellen, Shannyn Moore and AK Muckraker]

--- by Lee Tompkins, BSN

"Captive Alien Held in Area 51 by U.S. Military!"

"Elvis Is Alive!"

"U.S. Government Fakes Moon Landings!"

"Sarah Palin Fakes Pregnancy, Claims Daughter's Child as Her Own!"

All very sexy headlines and all conspiracy theories that some continue to believe to this day. Are any of them true? Who knows? What is more interesting is how and why such claims are picked up and seized by a segment of the American public. The first three are ones that I can't really comment on but the Sarah Palin one I can, having watched the story closely from the time the Anchorage Daily News reported the curious story of Trig Palin's birth last April, and having the requisite background in the medical field as a labor and delivery nurse as well as the necessary swiftness of foot and mind to avoid stepping in any BS in the field.

To some extent these stories are all crazes that took hold because people wanted to believe them. The world has been enchanted with the idea of space aliens all the way from a love affair with H.G. Wells to the Great Gazoo. The idea of E.T. being held captive in Roswell was one that our Star Trek-Star Wars-Lost in Space generation of baby boomers would latch onto with all the fierceness of a lassoed Bantha.

Everybody loves Elvis. Who wouldn't want to see him alive and performing at the Sands in Vegas?

The faked Apollo moon landing theory rocketed during a time in which Americans had a high degree of distrust in the government, who were either trying to draft you to go fight a war in a rice paddy or up to their usual dirty tricks breaking into the Watergate hotel. Would it really be a stretch that such a government would totally fabricate their proudest, most historic achievement?

Which bridges us to the case of Sarah Palin.

Let me say categorically that I think the widely disseminated rumor that Sarah Palin is not the mother of her child Trig is totally false, although I know many well-informed and well-educated people who believe otherwise, and I certainly understand their theory.

I'm going to spend some time discussing the reasons why I think the Palin faked pregnancy story is not true, but first I think it is of interest to comment on why this story has really caught hold of the imagination of many.

Sarah Palin, after being thrust into the national consciousness as a Hail-Mary VP pass by McCain and the Republican Party, gave disastrous interviews with Charlie and Katie, which allowed the public begin to see the real unscripted Palin. All the while Troopergate was coming to head in Alaska, as well as other ethical issues dug up by a curious national news media. And a general consensus was formed about Sarah Palin by the public, and that consensus, held by all but her most ardent supporters, was that they disliked her. They saw her as phony, hypocritical and frightfully unprepared to be anywhere near the White House. She ended up with the highest negativity rating ever for any VP candidate, and an all-you-can-eat late night comedy feast.

So, the public loved Elvis and wanted to see him alive and there was a hopeful expectation that maybe he was still. And the general public disliked Sarah Palin and when the bizarre circumstances of the birth of her child Trig became generally known, the public wanted to believe that she was capable of faking a pregnancy in order to bolster her standing as a "family values" candidate by avoiding the baggage of a daughter who was about to become an unwed teenage mother. Avoiding that didn't quite work out for Palin as it turned out, but that didn't stop a vocal minority of conspiracy theorists to believe Palin capable of such chicanery earlier. The public wanted to believe the worst of Sarah Palin.

Which is kind of funny in a sad way when you think about it, because what the evidence very strongly suggests is that Palin was guilty of recklessly endangering the life of her unborn child, which to me is far worse than faking a pregnancy, to protect her political ambition and perhaps the reputation of her daughter. It's just not as sexy of a story, not one the public could latch onto with such fervor. Discussing ruptured membranes ain't exactly something to talk about at the dinner table. And since "life imitates art more than art imitates life" it's highly doubtful the Desperate Housewives' writers will be opening next season with one of the wives flying transcontinentally with preterm premature rupture of membranes.

The public couldn't understand why anyone would do anything other than take the greatest of care and every absolute precaution with the health of a special needs child, whose parent should have been their greatest advocate and protector.

The faked pregnancy theory was easier to believe. And so it was born.

But with birth eventually comes death, and so the conspiracy that was born should now be allowed to die so that the real issue can come to light: the questionable judgment of Sarah Palin, and the local news media's inadequate coverage which put the public it serves at risk.

A couple of Google searches and it's not difficult to figure out that the likelihood of a Down's pregnancy in a 44-year old woman is 25 times greater than that of a teenager. Of course, overall more Down's babies are born in the younger age groups but that is reflective of the greater numbers of pregnancies occurring in younger women than older women. That statistic alone should be convincing enough, but it is probably not.

Certainly looks can be deceiving, but Palin looked pregnant, as I noticed and questioned whether she was pregnant after seeing a photo of her on the ADN website several days before she announced she was expecting. And after delivery she appeared to carry the appropriate postpartum weight you would expect to see. As mothers we've all been there.

The argument against a conspiracy that bothers me most personally is this: the very idea that doctors or nurses would involve themselves willingly in a cover-up is absurd, and quite frankly, insulting. If while working I was asked to aid and abet an unethical activity I would have promptly turned in my badge and walked out. Reviewing this supposed scenario over and over I just don't see how this could have happened at any reputable medical facility.

If you are one that still believes Elvis is alive then it is doubtful I've convinced you that Palin is Trig's mom. I agree, it would be easy for Palin to refute the claim by providing Trig's birth certificate and/or photos of her immediately after delivery, looking tired and disheveled, just as I did, holding her precious new gift. Why she has yet to do so I haven't a clue. Does she enjoy the attention this controversy receives? I can't answer that. All I do know is that if someone questioned whether one of my kids was my own it would take me all of five minutes to prove it.

In a strange way I'd almost rather be writing about a faked pregnancy than what really happened and was reported on in the April 22nd issue of the ADN by reporter Lisa Demer as well as a KTUU evening news cast that interviewed Palin's father, Chuck Heath. Contrary to Demer's page A-7 headline, Palin did put Trig at risk by wanting an Alaska birth.

During that KTUU interview Health proclaimed his daughter's water broke in Texas but that she managed to avoid delivery until she returned to Alaska. To a labor and delivery nurse's ears, this was the equivalent of nails running down a chalkboard.

"She did what?? Is this really true, if so, what the hell was she thinking?? Why did her doctor allow her to do this??"

It wasn't until Demer's article appeared a couple of days later that some of my questions were answered, but were answered in such a manner that left me with more questions: questions of Palin's judgment. If you can't make good choices and decisions during the most critical time of one's life, can you or should you be trusted to make decisions at less critical times or for others??

Palin chose to fly to Texas for a Governor's conference at 35 weeks of pregnancy. Why she chose to go instead of sending a surrogate is unknown and unreported. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists late pregnancy air travel poses an increased risk of preterm labor and other complications such as premature rupture of membranes (leaking amniotic fluid). And the Governor, having already known Trig was a Down syndrome child, knew this was a higher than average risk pregnancy, since Down's children often have additional congenital problems such as cardiac issues.

Palin's water broke at 4:00 am Texas time and at that time was having contractions that were "different" than contractions she had previously, she informed her Alaska family physician Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson. Palin reportedly told her physician she would be staying to deliver a luncheon address, one she was "determined to give."

The exact nature of any advice given by Dr. Baldwin-Johnson to Palin in these conversations is unclear and unreported. The very limited reporting here includes that Palin was having contractions, but "did not ask for a medical OK to fly." Whether she was advised to seek medical care with one of the hundreds of OB doctors and several well-equipped OB facilities in Dallas is unreported. Whether the risks of traveling with an undiagnosed complication of pregnancy in a high risk situation were discussed with Palin is unreported. Whether advice was given that it was absolutely safe to travel back or that the doctor advised her to return without a hands-on medical evaluation is unreported.

Any doctor who was at all prudent would have insisted that Palin be evaluated hands-on in Dallas, with appropriate fetal monitoring and verification of membrane status. Any mother who was at all prudent and interested in doing everything she could to protect the life of her unborn child would follow that advice and would have asked her doctor whether it was safe to fly, i.e. asked for a medical OK to fly. What would be the point of any conversations between Palin and her doctor if these incredibly important issues weren't asked and addressed? Physicians cannot diagnose over the phone. (Hopefully Palin didn't call to discuss the weather). We do know that if advice to be seen locally was given or that the risks of traveling long distances by air were discussed with the Governor, that advice and those risks were ignored by Palin.

The reason Palin made this decision is unclear. Todd Palin is quoted as saying "You can't have a fish picker from Texas", indicating that he found the possibility of Trig being born in Texas distasteful. Whether Todd Palin coerced the Governor to avoid medical care in Texas and return to Alaska is uncertain and unreported. What is true is that any woman presenting to an OB facility in Texas with ruptured membranes would not have been allowed to travel by air and would have required Palin to sign out Against Medical Advice (AMA) had she expressed an intent in flying back to Alaska to deliver. An AMA for a government leader would look very bad.

Having given her speech, Palin caught an earlier flight out of Dallas, a fact previously unreported. At the airport she did not inform the flight personnel that she was pregnant and was suffering a complication of pregnancy, thereby putting the entire flight at risk for diversion should further problems or delivery become eminent. Airliners are woefully inadequately prepared for medical emergencies and lack any proper equipment necessary to resuscitate a newborn. Even a 35-week fetus may have immature lung development.

Upon arrival to Alaska 11 hours later, she and her husband drove to Matsu-Regional Hospital in Palmer, a drive that usually takes at least an hour, rather than going to a larger facility in Anchorage, which was no more than 15 minutes from the airport and the only facility in the state with a Level III NICU. The reason for that is unknown and unreported. It is reported that the delivery had to be induced at Mat-Su Regional and the baby was delivered at 6:30 a.m.

Many who believe in the conspiracy theory cannot understand how a multiparous woman could manage to fly with preterm premature rupture of membranes for such an extended period of time without delivering. I wouldn't have made it with my rapid 2nd labor, so I can't answer that question. It simply isn't something I would have ever contemplated.

The notion that Palin had to be induced therefore she wasn't really is labor is grossly misunderstood by the general public. Inductions are NEVER done on a preterm pregnancy unless there is a known complication or problem with the fetus. If the governor had arrived at the hospital with ruptured membranes but without other complications, more than likely her family physician would have waited until the morning to begin induction, a usual routine at busy OB facilities. The fact that the governor's induction began in the middle of the night is strongly indicative that significant problems were occurring that warranted immediate attention, problems such as fetal distress or infection due to the extended time period of ruptured membranes.

The bottom line
Why Governor Palin chose to give a speech over seeking appropriate care for her unborn child is known only to Governor Palin, but her actions speak volumes to those of us listening, and listening carefully.

In my opinion I believe Governor Palin's actions indicated she knowingly and recklessly endangered the life of her unborn child.
She is incredibly fortunate that the outcome was ultimately positive, but someone else may not be so lucky, hence the failure of the local news media to do it's job to properly report and to warn others that Governor Palin's choices were not the wisest.

So why didn't they? A few possible answers:

1. Sensitivity to the governor during a difficult time giving birth to a baby that will require life-long intensive therapy if it is to achieve an IQ score higher than the Down's average of 40. That's fair enough.

2. Governor Palin sells newspapers to a segment of the population the news paper is targeting: females. We all know we shouldn't bite the hand that feeds us.

3. Popularity. Governor Palin's approval ratings were high at the time and the news paper supported the governor's position on various political issues such as increased oil taxation, etc.

Sarah Palin was lucky, Sarah Smith or Sarah Jones may not be. The ADN failed in it's obligation to the public it serves to fully inform and educate on potential public health and safety issues. The accolades the governor received for being a "tough Alaskan woman" may prove deadly for someone imitating her actions. Popularity trumped common sense and good sound journalism. Regardless of the sensitivity issue the ADN, even at a later date, should have yet failed to inform the public that the governor's actions were wrong, and dangerous.

Because of this failure I believe the ADN is partially culpable for this whole conspiracy theory. If they had done their job right to begin with, the details of the birth would have been more clear and this nonsense about faked pregnancy would have been supplanted by the clear realization that Palin risked the life of her unborn child, took absolutely no prudent precautions for reasons one cannot even imagine, all to avoid having a fish picker born in Texas.


GinaM said...

But the ADN did try to clear up this birth conspiracy but Palin and Co. would not cooperate.

Anonymous said...

Lee, I had the same beliefs that you have until I did some more research. Have you heard of the NAR movement? If not, go do a little research. Palin's church(es) belong to the NAR movement. Shortly after becoming mayor of Wasilla, she replaced the board members of the Mat-Su Hospital where Trig was born with members from her church. It is thought that Cathy Baldwin-Johnson also attends this church. If that is the case, then I can see how a group of zealots in positions of power could instill enough fervor or fear to keep this quiet. Here in California? Nope, it would never happen. Apparantly, NAR is the fastest growing cult religion in the world. Very scary stuff.

Ella said...

I am not clear if "Saradise Lost" and all chapters therein are to become an actual published book. I certainly hope so! I go back and forth on the SP as Trig's mom theory, and I believe I have read almost EVERYTHING on the subject. I find it perplexing to rationalize the square pillow photo late in pregnancy and SP's own statement that her stage of preganancy was not visible to the airline personnel during the "wild ride" (since she looked HUGE in the ONE photo taken earler in the hallways of Leg. offices). I DO agree, however, that SP's OWN story of the "wild ride" that jeopardized baby Trig's life and welfare is even MORE damaging to her reputation than a faked pregnancy (which would likely have been done to protect a daughter).

Virginia Voter said...

I too have always thought this wild ride story was more horrifying than faking a pregnancy. This is the very reason that the Trig birth conspiracy lives on...because no woman in her right mind would do what Sarah Palin did, and risk her unborn baby's life like that. But I guess we are not dealing with someone who is in her right mind. I have also thought that the fundie abortion theory was possible...Sarah purposely hid her pregnancy, did not take proper care of herself with excess of traveling, insufficient weight gain, etc in the hopes of a miscarraige. As a mother her actions are inconceivable to me, and she has proven time and time again that she uses her children as pawns to further her own career.

Marie said...

You are wrong. If you do some serious research, you will find out, that that is NOT her child. She may have adopted him, but she did not give birth to him. It is NOT just a conspiracy theory. The reason it is so important is because she uses that poor child as a political prop, even crying out today "who would make fun of a special needs baby.

Would you please do more research before writing the things you are saying? You will be sorry later because it is going to come out......

Philip Munger said...


I am posting this excellent article because it addresses a number of important issues. Having known Dr. Baldwin-Johnson since 1985, I find Ms. Tompkins' article to be the most sensible i've read.

If, as you say, "it is going to come our," than I'll have to reassess my viewpoint. Whether or not I "will be sorry" about it" is a different matter, and you really don't have any way of knowing how I might feel on it yet, do you?

Philip Munger said...


I suppose "Saradise Lost" might have an impact on a book, should I write one, but I'd rather write about other things, and - even more - I'd rather be writing music.

basheert said...

Lee Tompkins BSN and Phil:

There is one issue that I do not believe you have addressed in this article.

You speak of the plane flight - that would be an Alaska Airline flight to Seattle then on to Anchorage with a layover in Seattle prior to it's continuation.

If SP was a full term multiprep with a DS baby, there is no way in he** that Alaska Airlines would permit her to fly. She would be considered high risk and if she was visibly over 6 months or in any type of distress, they would not have allowed her on that flight.

The insanity of flying to Seattle THEN to Anchorage on a connecting flight then driving to her hospital with a FIFTH child (4 previous live births) is insane. She could have expelled that baby in 10 minutes as a 5 term mom and you know this. Multiparas are notorious for rapid unexpected births in record time. My first and only labor resulted in a live birth after 1 hour

THAT is quite simply why this story has legs. And it will continue to have legs.

portlandon said...

So your parents used lead based paint on your crib didn't they Phil?

Your tin foil hat should keep out Palin's brainwashing rays.....

Que the Twilight Zone music.....

You are pathetic Phil. Why are you obsessed with Sarah Palin's uterus?

GinaM said...

Uh Ohh Phil. The C4P people wrote a post about this article. Somehow I don't think they actually read it cause they think YOU wrote this. Wow they are on a rampage on Alaskan bloggers.

Philip Munger said...


I heard they're even calling me "Dr." Munger

portlandon said...

Gina said:

"I don't think they actually read it cause they think YOU wrote this. Wow they are on a rampage on Alaskan bloggers."

If you POST something on YOUR site, you SUPPORT IT.

If you question a woman's parenting, her CHOICE, and her ability to have a child don't cry when you get called out on it.
Phil Munger said:

"I heard they're even calling me "Dr." Munger"

No sir. You ("Dr Phil") are only a Gynecologist in your own mind.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

Dear Dr Munger, I'm not ruling anything out or in but I doubt the baby was born in any hospital. And your last bill was way too high!
Sincerely, Aussie Blue Sky

basheert said...

WTF is that about? Many bloggers post on different sites. Just because it is Phil's blog doesn't mean he "supports" it.

It simply means that it is posted on his blog.

The fact that he allows YOU to post when you also appear to be a twit gives him credit for allowing freedom of speech.

The fact that the batshitcrazy Palinbots can't figure out who wrote a blogpost even tho it is signed is a further indication they all need thorazine and therapy.

We all have opinions - the fact that you are not kicked off this blog where the rest of us are removed from the Peeing in the Sea blog indicates that in your mind you believe freedom of speech is only for you and those who pee in seas.

Phil did not write this blogpost you idiot. The author has a BSN (for your clarification since you have NO clue what that means, it is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing). The author of this post signed her name.

She did leave some pertinent info out which still needs answers.

Why do conservative righty fundies support Diaper Dave and Sexy Sanford???

Anonymous said...

c4p posted Burke's baby picture. They must support it.

The BSN pro paints the gov as a child abuser. Dr CBJ can talk about abuse. I've heard her.

basheert said...

Dr CBJ can talk about abuse, she cannot talk about a specific patient without a release.

Hey good catch. The Sea Pee-ers are supporting the cartoon and that means they must agree with it.

Tortured logic anyone?

Anonymous said...

Dr CBJ is an expert. If I asked her about an over 40 friend of mine who was 8 mos preg w/ special child and wanted to go on a long flight after leaking and such, she could give an opinion or tell me she doesn't think that is abusive. There is not only abuse like some husband hitting on a woman. Abuse comes in many forms. A leader in a field should be able to discuss in detail different variations of abuse. Dr CBJ is a smooth talker, she could handle that. What I find weird about her is that when the Palin wikipedia was getting a re-do, they removed things about Dr CBJ. It was good news for her. Why take out her good reports and she ends up with only that awful medical letter? Liars and cheats don't come forth with the truth. They are sure making the good Dr look like scum. She is abused if she can't stand up for herself.

BearWoman said...


Thank you for your last two Chapters on GINO! It appears you are out to irritate the Palinbots, Stapletongue, GINO and Toad!

Let's meet and raise the rhetoric to a triple dog dare and see what they do!

You do appear to be goading them.... You obviously have a plan in action!

AKPetMom said...

Unless Sarah Palin had previous premature labor with Trig and had a cervical stitch done to hold her cervix shut there is no way that she could have personally prevented what nature intended, that being a baby heading out the birth canal.

So there are four scenarios.

One, Trig was not born after the wild ride but was delivered at an earlier date.

Two, Sarah's father was complicit in creating a deception regarding Trig's birthdate and circumstances.

Three, Sarah Palin did not birth Trig.

Four, she had a cerv. stitch and baby was going nowhere until they cut the stitches out. Cervical stitch procedures are usually followed by bed rest for the extent of the pregnancy so it is doubtful that she had this procedure, however I am very curious how Trig stayed inside of Sarah until she said it was okay to come out.

I don't care how much you exercise and how strong your abdominal muscles are or how strong your will is. A baby will come out when it is ready and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Period, end of story.

So which scenario is it?

Mary said...

Who said she was induced? Sarah? Or the same doctor that wrote her note for the RNC?

Whose word are we supposed to believe?

Nothing explains the plane trip. Nothing. Being born in Texas isn't a crime. Unless the uterus is actually still back in Alaska.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the original post and I stand by it 100%. Without ACTUAL proof I had to go by facts presented in the news media. I obviously don't have access to anyone's medical records. PalinDeceptions is a fine blog but doesn't have any ACTUAL proof that Palin wasn't pregnant. I didn't look pregnant until around 6 months so I too could have been accused of not looking pregnant.

Let us not stray from the fact that whether you believe the faked pregnancy theory, or whether you believe she recklessly endangered the life of her unborn child, it's all BAD. That is the important take-away message here.

In my many years of L&D I have never seen anyone fake a pregnancy with cooperation from hospital staff. I have never been approached about such either. Neither has my own OB/GYN, who has decades of experience and also doesn't believe for a minute that Palin faked her pregnancy.

I understand the "rules" may be different for the hospital in the Valley and their supposed connection to some strange religious faction. If that's the case, and a faked delivery was allowed, that would be highly unusual and I suspect they would be subjecting themselves to some degree of fraud for having allowed it to occur.

I have been working on this issue since the moment it was announced to the media. NO ONE wanted to touch it, and the media that was considering it didn't ask the right questions. Bottom line: They didn't want to piss off Palin and lose access to her.

My husband and I contacted Alaska Airlines in writing very soon after. We asked them to revise their pregnancy travel policy and they politely refused stating "privacy and discrimination" concerns. Their employees can't refuse anyone, or even ask if someone is pregnant. They rely on the good faith of the customer.

I have my own personal opinion about Palin's intent and all I'll say is "it's not good." Many in the medical profession here in Anchorage agree with me.

We should ALL seriously question her judgment.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...


The April 22nd edition of the ADN article discussed her need to be induced.

The trip highlights Palin's need to be seen and heard at the conference she attended. If she had gone immediately to the hospital when her water broke she would have missed the speaking opportunity. Self-promotion was more important than the health/well-being of her unborn child.

One has to wonder what her intent was. After all, we've since found out that Palin admitted considering an abortion and is on public record stating that she questioned her ability to bond with a special needs child.

Anonymous said...

Anon June 25, 2009 6:22 PM

Why can't professionals get their opinions out? Something is very wrong in the Valley.

A letter could be written and signed. Post on internet and submit to all the media. If these are issues that involve Dr CBJ, invite her to participate in a discussion or a way to reach out with healing the community heal from all the divisions these unusual reckless behaviors cause. Suspicious is no way to live. Trust is dead. If it's this much hell on adults, you don't want to think of what it is for the children.

Anonymous said...

Governor Grifter tried her best to help "God's will" happen to her special needs baby by getting on that plane. A desperate act by a desperate woman. So much for that "culture of life" she bloviates about. Sad.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

@Anon 6:42


HIPAA even protects Hypocrites.

AKPetMom said...

God's will is one thing when a person is a few months pregnant, not near term. A "God's will" abortion could cost the life of the mother as well at 35 weeks gestation and I don't believe that Sarah would ever endanger herself.

If she wanted a god's will scenario she would have acted much sooner.

Just my personal opinion.

basheert said...

Lee Tompkins, BSN from Basheert wife of M.D.:
Thanks for saying it - HIPPA is in theory a good idea. In practice it can and frequently is a nightmare to a patient's family.

Alaska Airlines could have easily refused her right to board her flight. Simply saying "I'm fine" wouldn't go with them. They'd refuse to fly her. And that is where I disagree with you that this trip happened the way it was stated.

The mother is a gravida 4 multipara - carrying a special needs DS baby. If she was in her last trimester, going out on a limb, Alaska Airlines could and would tell her NO FLYING. The airlines can do whatever they want and can invoke their policies. It doesn't matter that this is gino.

That is where the story falls apart. The airline can and would have refused to fly this woman 5 HOURS from DFW/SEA - layover at Sea-Tac - then 3 additional hours from SEA - ANC. Then drive past a NICU to Wasilla an additional 1-2 hours??? No way. The liability on the part of the airline could potentially bankrupt them if something happened and in today's climate, it simply is not going to be allowed.

Beyond that, I don't know or care what happened. I predict this whole plane flight story will be found to be a tissue of lies with a grain of truth. For some reason, I refuse to buy into the Myths of Sarah. It's gotten so far into the realm of Twilight Zone land that it's not even remotely possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm bewildered by how in the world she kept herself "tidy" with all that leaking amniotic fluid. She gave a speech and sat on an airplane for 10 hours and then another hour drive to a hospital. Any woman who has experienced amniotic fluid "leaking" knows it's messy..... When did she send Todd out for Depends?

Anonymous said...

Just a suggestion, but she has admitted that until he was born she didn't know if she had it within her to give him (Trig) the love he needed.

I've often wondered if she was trying trigger an inadvertant "accident" with this pregnancy. The padding could have been trying to keep herself from showing in case she suddenly found herself not pregnant then she wouldn't have had to explain what happened.

Putting the baby through all that stress and trauma prior to birth could have easily have caused a "miscarriage". Was she trying to do that?

I hate that those thoughts have crossed my mind, but as the mother of 3, I cannot imagine doing what she did. I would have been terrified of what it might do to my child.

Anonymous said...

Lee Tompkins, BSN

I don't mean anything personal about a patient. Abuse, substance abuse those are things that are problems that can be discussed in public. If the public wants to know about a problem in their community they sometimes do things like write public letters or have town hall meetings. Amp up the discussion and eventual healing factor of getting problems in the sunlight. There is no light in Alaska. This is why the world looks at Alaska and sees communities of abused people who are too crippled to know how to speak up. It is not only a problem in the wilderness. You have failed to educate your areas like the Valley. It is all very sad to see so many people living as victims. The adults teach the children how to be a good victim. How many generations now? You would be better off to get back to your roots and the elders, if they are not all indoctrinated by the white man's culture of repression and compliance.
@Anon 6:42

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

@ basheert

I agree with you that this whole story is very strange.

When I spoke to Alaska Airlines they informed me that their employees claimed Palin didn't look pregnant and that they COULD NOT ask, and therefore did not. I agree other airlines have more specific policies in place (including written letters from physicians) but this is not the case with Alaska and that is why we urged them to change their policy. They would not. My own OB doesn't authorize travel after 28 weeks.

I don't believe they would have been liable if something bad had happened since Palin didn't claim to be pregnant or in labor. You can't be liable for something you don't know about.

Why the Palins opted to bypass Providence with a Level III NICU is beyond me. I can only speculate that since L&D nurses are known to be sharp and at times brutally honest, they would have likely scolded Palin for not seeking medical care in Texas.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

@ Anon 7:17

With ruptured membranes sometimes it's a large amount, and sometimes it's a slow leak. And some small leaks seal over.

I suspect she experienced a slow leak and therefore didn't leave behind volumes of fluid on any airplane seat (yes, ick is right).

Regardless of the amount of leakage seeking immediate medical care is always prudent.

I'm not sure why they didn't think about that when Chuck Heath discussed his daughter's water-breaking in Texas on the evening news. If the pregnancy was faked, then someone gave poor advise for their "story." Certainly CBJ, though not an OB/GYN, would have known that was a bad idea.

KaJo said...

"When I spoke to Alaska Airlines they informed me that their employees claimed Palin didn't look pregnant and that they COULD NOT ask, and therefore did not."

I find that EXTREMELY odd, since 1) we now know that there was a picture of Gov. Palin taken April 13, 2008, FIVE days before the plane flight, in which she looks nearly as enormously pregnant as she did in that picture of her pregnant with her first child.

And 2) it WAS April in Texas and Seattle and Anchorage. Daytime temps in Dallas in mid-April average 77 degrees. For Seattle's airport: 60 degrees.

Anyone think Sarah Palin had that red parka with the wolf fur ruff on while on that trip, as a coverup (she wore it Mar 1, 2008 at the Iditarod)? Whew, hot! And weird.

Or that she buttoned that ubiquitous black jacket so the airline people couldn't see? (if she DID button it, it wasn't over a pregnant belly because the jacket wasn't THAT big!)

(ha, ha, my WV is "foonie")

basheert said...

Lee: If you are a L&D nurse then you realize the minute the amniotic sac ruptured and began leaking, the patient was in imminent danger of infection and should have been hospitalized immediately. Even small leaks can allow bacteria to enter.

This whole story reeks. Especially the part about using CBJ for a high risk known multip gravida 4 trisomy 13 baby. How could any responsible physician not refer her to an OB/GYN? The pregnancy was high risk on multiple levels.

CBJ needs to have her license questioned because if she truly handled this high risk pregnancy, she is at the very least, guilty of poor judgment and risk to the baby and the mother.

Again, this whole thing REEKS. I believe it is a concocted story and I also see that if SP was going for a pity party with this whole thing, she ended up looking like an irresponsible moron.

Again, I don't believe it all happened - or CBJ needs her license jerked and her medical judgment investigated.

basheert said...

Hi KaJo: It isn't the temperatures that are the issue.

The fact is, this was a 44 year old woman with 4 previous live births. She was high risk due to her age. Additionally she carried a high risk baby, with known Down's Syndrome (trisomy 13). She was (supposedly) in an advanced state of pregnancy with a high risk baby and due to her advanced age, was high risk to herself.

She SUPPOSEDLY traveled all this way to have a high risk baby at a community hospital (NOTHING against them, but they don't have a NICU).

This story and she are both insane, as is the physician. Unless she truly is batshit crazy and chose voluntarily to RISK her baby to make a speech in Texas.

And THEN she flew home?

Sorry guys - it's nuts. If she did this, she is truly certifiable and her doctor is nuts.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

@ basheert

I don't at all disagree with you. My husband and I felt very much like we were banging our heads against the wall last April when we discussed this very issue with anyone and everyone. Palin at the time still had very high approval ratings and A LOT of support, even Dems loved her.

Since the outcome was not negative (thankfully, of course, I don't wish ill on any child) not much can be done about holding CBJ accountable for her advice or lack there of. It's unfortunate she chose not to come out and give a generic public health advisory for all pregnant women, something so simple as: "It is critical that ALL pregnant women seek immediate medical attention if they suspect their water has broken." I would have respected her for that. Instead she chose to remain quiet, and IMO, lost a lot of respect for not doing what she is obligated to do as a physician.

No matter what theory you believe, the whole situation is crazy and I'm completely at a loss for words why it wasn't discussed further at the time. I did give it my best effort, and I am comfortable with that.

Philip Munger said...


Thank you for coming here and defending and explaining your important article this afternoon and evening.

I just got home from a long day/evening at work, and was glad to see this had turned into a creative comment thread, especially since the C4Pee pod people are on the warpath today.

The more people realize how irresponsible Palin's attitude toward her youngest child was, once she was aware there might be problems with the child and the pregnancy itself, the clearer will be peoples' understanding of how utterly incapable of major leadership responsibilities she must surely be.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

Thanks Phil! Though I haven't commented previously I'm a regular reader and a fan.

I've always felt that our actions during the most critical times of our lives (like childbirth) define our character. Clearly Palin chose self-promotion over the safety of her unborn child. That says everything about her character and that's why this phony outrage is preposterous.

If Trig is so special (and he is), was he not special enough to get medical care for in Dallas?

It's simply inexplicable to me.

If my own sister phoned me to say her water broke but she was staying to give a speech, she'd not only get an earful from me, she'd be met by an ambulance at the front door of her hotel. And after delivery I'd have her husband get her psychological help.

Philip Munger said...

Having had my life saved in March 1996 in a Texas hospital - Texas Medical Center in Houston - and having experienced Valley Regional Hospital twice now - I can say I'd rather trust the Texas hospitals than ours.

Anonymous said...

I have long wondered if a casual poll of sorts was taken, say someone called a random OB-GYN in each state in the country and described the scenario Sarah was in, ie. "I have a friend who is 44 years old and is carrying what is believed to be a DS baby (it wasn't 100% known til she delivered as I understand it). Her home is in another state and it will take her twenty hours at a minimum to travel home (or however long it took her). She has started leaking amniotic fluid, barely, but still. We're wondering, is it safe for her to travel to her home state to deliver her baby? Oh, and she's a month early, also, too."

If someone were to conduct a simple poll of this sort, what do you think the chances are that 100% of the OB-GYN's - or their staff members - would all say, "absolutely not - immediately seek professional medical attention right where you are"- ?

Than someone in Alaska could seemingly approach Sarah's physician with the results of such a poll and say, "Please explain why you gave contrary advice - or please explain why you didn't immediately advise Sarah to seek professional medical attention at a hospital in Dallas"?

I think this whole episode - especially the ensuing theory that Trig isn't Sarah's baby - has kept the real questions from seriously being pursued.

Why has no press anywhere followed this story up? Big deal to me if she faked a pregnancy. It would be weird and it would spell the end of her political life (although, I don't put anything past her rabid supporters who spin anything about her in a complimentary light). But if the facts about the "wild ride home" as someone put it - were to ever actually come out - if her doc was finally compelled to answer questions, or hospital personnel, or the AK Airlines employees, then this story could finally come to light.

It is very clear to me Sarah does not want the truth about the ride home to be investigated, written about and printed. She would have way too much to lose. If she keeps silent and lets folks ruminate about whether she actually birthed Trig - it only adds fuel to the fire of political martyrdom that she stokes among her followers.

Someone up there, please connect the dots. It can't possibly be that hard. Someone conduct this little sample poll to see how far out of bounds it makes this whole silly story sound.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 12:48,

comments like yours are exactly why I felt compelled to post this excellent article Thursday. Thanks.

Lilybart said...

I think that the fact that the ADN wanted to do a story that would end these rumors, but got NO cooperation from the Palin's, is the one incident that just cannot be explained away. the ADN is very favorable to her in general and they sincerely wanted to blow off this rumor for her.

She could have shown the reporter photos, a birth cert, hospital ID bracelets (I have mine and my daughter's in a scrapbook) in private, and the reporter could have cleared it up with no real privacy breach.

So, why not?

That and the fact that all photos and videos from any website, the official GOV site and the ADN, from Jan -April 08 have been scrubbed, is just too much to dismiss.

Patrick said...

"Wonkette" just called Trig "Bristol Palin's child", and it doesn't look like a "mistake" or "typo" to me.

basheert said...

Phil: It is for these reasons that Lee and I are in total agreement.

This story makes NO sense. That is why we keep returning to what happened when "Trig" was born supposedly.

I believe Lee and I both understand the HIPPA issue regarding the physician's hands being tied. That justifies my feeling that perhaps SP knows her doctor cannot comment so feels free to embellish this pack of weirdness knowing she will not be contradicted.

Todd Palin is hardly qualified to comment on someone else being a fish picker. He couldn't make it as a pig sticker.

That gene pool doesn't give anyone much of a chance does it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Phil and Lee Tompkins for keeping this discussion going. It is important. I like the concept from those like anon @ 12:48 AM. Most people respect HIPAA and I don't think anyone wants that violated. There are ways to question suspicious behaviors of politicians. It is clear that most of the journalists are in the Governor's back pocket. Community activists can bring out issues in other ways, but don't stop trying to get letters to the editor published. I am always surprised that there is not more attention paid to the critical drug issues in Alaska. Where I am people will gather in churches for a public address of problems like that. If what we are hearing about the churches in Alaska is true, you need to find another meeting place.
I would like to see more discussion about the connections between Alaskan churches, Sarah's hospital and the State.

Why did CBJ get Xed from Sarah's wikipedia?

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

When the news story first broke I immediately called all of the TV stations here in Anchorage. The response was the same from all. Since news reporters have minimal if any medical knowledge (that's a generous statement) they blew me off as someone who had an axe to grind. I did not. No stories.

I contacted the AP and spoke with both Mark Thiessen and Steve Quinn (at the time we didn't know about Steve's connection to Ivy Fry, Palin's state-paid babysitter). Mark assured me that they would be following-up on the story and had me speak to Steve. I emailed Steve a list of questions to ask both the governor and CBJ. I suspect those questions went only to Ivy Fry and were never asked. Steve Quinn is no longer in the state.

Nothing ever came of the story.

I spoke with Paul Jenkins from the Voice of the Times about a week after the event and his response: Old story, too late.

I contacted the ADN numerous times, speaking to Lisa Demer, David Hulen, and Pat Dougherty (my husband took him on). They all pretended to be concerned but never went anywhere with the story, not even to publicly educate women on the dangers of flying while pregnant. A huge disservice IMO.

I also contacted a medical reporter from the national AP office in D.C. At the time Palin wasn't a national figure so their response was for me to talk to my local AP office (guess they don't like stepping on the toes of their local folks). They did find the story odd and wondered "what was she thinking?" Still no story.

I also spoke to NOW in D.C. a couple of times and expressed my concern about Palin's pro-life stance conflicting with her recent behavior. They never did anything either.

I also spoke to reporters in Juneau and Fairbanks. I also spoke with McClatchy in D.C.

I also spoke with Senator Murkowski's staff in D.C. hoping to find out if there could be national policy implemented to protect pregnant women from the dangers of flying.

Bear in mind each and every one of these contacts took an enormous amount of time to just get in touch with people, especially being 4-hours behind the East.

Bottom line: Palin's popularity at the time trumped common sense and public education, putting others at risk.

They all listened, but no one cared.

LisanTX said...

WOW, Lee Tompkins!!! Thank you for all the efforts listed above, that you took (1) to seek information, (2) to try to educate the public and (3) to get the press to look into this. That was an incredible amount of work.

I think the critical mass of attention is just about there for this issue to be investigated. Even though it has been over a year, I feel the interest is still there. Lots of people do care about the character of our officeholders. It just took some time for them to become aware of this issue.

I love your statement:

"I've always felt that our actions during the most critical times of our lives (like childbirth) define our character. Clearly Palin chose self-promotion over the safety of her unborn child. That says everything about her character and that's why this phony outrage is preposterous."

And I applaud you for trying to educate women so that they don't endanger themselves or their baby by flying late in a pregnancy.

Many thanks to you, Ms. Tompkins!!!

Anonymous said...

I am speechless, so I'll repeat WOW, Lee Tompkins!!! a few more times... THANK YOU!!!!!

What you just posted is another pertinent story on it's own. I hope you can add it or coordinate it with the original. This needs to get out to HuffPost and others. The concerns and questions about a governor's abuse must be answered. Whether she is abusing her power in office, a constituent or a child. All abuse must be considered and answered. Shame on the doctor for not doing more on the abuse. Has she ever mentioned, in general, the dangers of flying while pregnant?


Anonymous said...

I basically question the responsibility of Sarah to get pregnant in the first place...I presume she understands where babies come from, and at her age and as governor of Alaska did she ever stop to think that unprotected sex might lead to this end result? Personal responsibility should be #1 consideration of any citizen for anything, taught in school and emphasized...she did not set a good example with any of this.

KaJo said...

basheert said... "Hi KaJo: It isn't the temperatures that are the issue."

In a way, it is, though, basheert. There's no way Sarah Palin could have dressed appropriately for the weather in Dallas on April 18, 2008, even in the airport -- or in the layover in Seattle -- without showing her "pregnant belly" plainly and obviously. Not if she appeared much the same as she did on April 13, 2008 in the Gusty photograph.


To Anonymous @ June 26, 2009 12:48 AM:

I know of at least two OB-GYN doctors who've weighed in on this issue with conclusions/opinions that are 180 degrees opposite to the route Sarah Palin took, once "her water broke". One was interviewed on a Dallas TV station right after what we call "the wild ride" of April 18, 2008; and the other was the personal physician of the blogger of "Palin's Peyton Place"


As for the HIPAA issue regarding patient-physician confidentiality, birth certificates, medical records, etc. -- that can be easily solved if a larger issue, such as dependents filed on federal tax returns or insurance claims filed (i.e., tax evasion or insurance fraud) is researched thoroughly by a legal team that has subpoenaed said records.

There's a rumor circulating about such investigations. That may be what has the Palin Mafia's antennae on high alert, and why they're in attack mode nearly constantly. Their world is unravelling.

Anonymous said...

The child abuse signs are incredibly disturbing. Governor Palin's behavior could have been examined by child protection services. In Alaska is that influenced by Dr CBJ or her cronies? The media could have done their jobs. It's so strange looking at Michael Jackson dangling a baby from a balcony, there was quiet an outrage and he did apologize. From a medical perspective was the Jackson child in more danger then Trig Palin? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 the worst, where is Jackson's danger level? Palin?

I hope the professionals who declined to notice the danger that Trig Palin was in are all called out for their part in covering up child abuse. There is no excuse. The public can be ignorant of the dangers, but not medical professionals. I'm not talking about the ones that tried and hit a wall. The public could relate to the danger Jackson's baby and they could yell about it. Because the medical profession and media failed Trig, no one informed the public. People are ignorant about this and that must be remedied. ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I know CBJ - Sarah's doctor. I also know a close friend who saw CBJ as her doctor when she was pregnant. This friend thought she was going into labor (she thought her water had broken but wasn't sure) three weeks before her due date. She called the hospital - Mat Su Regional - but at it's old location behind the Borough bldg. in Palmer - and was instructed to come in and be checked. Her house was less than ten minutes from the hospital. She got there and they did the test and it was determined she was barely leaking fluid. CBJ came and insisted she be admitted right then and there. She didn't have any of her bags, anything, with her and asked if she could go back to her house, grab a couple items and come back to the hospital. All she asked for was thirty minutes. CBJ - in her gracious but professional way - said it wasn't safe for her or the baby and that she would need someone else to bring her stuff to the hospital.

This friend was in her late twenties / early thirties and was not carrying a special needs child. Nothing about her condition was high risk. She ended up delivering the baby 14 hours later.

I hate that CBJ's good name and excellent reputation has been in any way denigrated by Sarah Palin's actions with her own high risk pregnancy and delivery account.

I refuse, absolutely, to believe Cathy Baldwin-Johnson ever did anything other than tell Sarah to get to a hospital to be seen. To have instructed her otherwise, esp. once she was leaking fluid, as her father so bluntly stated the night Trig was born on the KTUU evening news (don't bother trying to find this piece - it was yanked off their website almost immediately, once people started inquiring into the actual details of Sarah's account), would have been a complete breech of her professional medical duties. And if CBJ is anything, she is a class act physician who has served this community above reproach in every imaginable way. She was chosen top family doctor in the nation a few years back.

Her good name should not have to suffer because of Sarah's poor judgement.

Lee Tompkins, BSN said...

@ Anon 6:17

I agree completely with you about CBJ and her reputation. Undoubtedly she has worked very hard to serve her patients and the community well.

However, as Palin's delivering physician she placed her self in a precarious position, and should have, IMO, stated the obvious and the truth: "It's never a good idea to fly with ruptured membranes or other pregnancy complications."

She could have made a statement without directly attacking the governor.

If her reputation is suffering or has suffered it's because of her choice not to defend the public and to remain quiet and obviously loyal to Palin.

I have no sympathy for her.

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 6:30 pm

CBJ was our kids' doctor from birth through youth. Susan LeMagie was my wife's dr, when she was pregnant, and both of them were involved in saving our son's life.

I've known CBJ for almost 25 years, and agree she would not lie to cover for Palin. CBJ's statement on Trig's birth is one of the weirdest non-statements I have ever read.

Anonymous said...

Phil, what was CBJ's statement on Trig's birth? Why do you think she made a weird non-statement?

Reading all this gets confusing. I did not start from the beginning of Trig's birth and I'm not in the area. What is clear is that a child was put at extreme risk. Now I know of child endangerment situations like a child not being in a car seat, or a child left in a car. Situations that are not as complicated as a high risk pregnancy or flying across countries.

I agree with Lee Tompkins, that CBJ should have made a statement. She should have done something for the child. Isn't that a doctor's role? If the patient is a parent but the child was neglected or abused, don't tell me doctors are to only look out for the parent in Alaska. What is disturbing to me is that CBJ works with abuse. It is a bad problem in that area and she is a healer. Everything is pointing to her as someone who has overlooked Trig being abused. This is far worse then I first could imagine. That little guy needs a guardian.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... Living in this community also - and knowing CBJ and Sarah personally - I am starting to see this through a different prism. Anon at 7:38 is right - CBJ is a healer - and Anon at 6:17 is right - she is totally professional ---- but, if she won't speak honestly and openly about Sarah's choice to fly across the country with ruptured membranes, then Lee Tompkins at 6:30 is also right - Cathy should not be pitied.

CBJ - where are you? Your good name and the reputation you have in this Valley as caring for those who are voiceless is unmatched. Don't allow the silence to answer for you any longer. Who cares about gas lines or any other lines.

Sarah was in charge of her unborn son's life line - and if indeed her account of having started leaking fluid in Texas - but waiting some twenty hours later to deliver him in AK is correct - then she put him at serious risk.

Please speak up and tell the truth. Sadly, Sarah is not someone we can expect to hear the truth from in this matter. And no, it's not a private matter. Sarah desperately wants to be the "example" - iconic or otherwise, of mothering a special needs child. The example of her birth account deserves the truth. For Alaskans - and now, after 8/29/08, for Americans.

Sarah Q. said...

Sarah Palin was not careless about her baby when she flew home to Alaska. The reason why she was not careless is because she wasn't pregnant.

As for the other points the writer makes: She didn't look like she was pregnant so the writer has no valid reason to say that she did. Palin only looked pregnant in one picture which was staged and where she was padded up much bigger than she looked in any other picture at any time.

As for the rest of the post which dwells mostly on analyzing a flight while pregnant, and which of course never took place, the post has no other substance.

This is clearly a case of a faked pregnancy and not a very good job of faking it either. If Palin had put her heart into it she would have worn the padding more frequently and not been seen in public with long scarves hanging over her stomach which didn't succeed in hiding the truth.

Can the people who are unsure of the truth of this matter be so unsure of themselves and so unconfident in themselves that they can't believe and accept the obvious truth. No bloody wonder some people still think Elvis is alive!

Anonymous said...

Mary said it best @555:

Nothing explains the plane trip. Nothing. Being born in Texas isn't a crime. Unless the uterus is actually still back in Alaska.

Not that to me is the truth!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to clarify that Down Syndrome is Trisomy 21, not 13...
(my daughter has DS)

Windy City Woman said...

No one here mentioned that there were rumors that Bristol was pregnant long before Sarah became nationally known...before Trig was born. She dropped out of school and was not seen publicly for months before Trig's appearance. There are lots of pictures of Sarah in the weeks before Trig's "birth"; her tummy changes size and shape, and in one photo it is clear that she is wearing a square pillow under her clothes. Go to for more.

Also, I don't underatnd the idea that Sarah's pregnancy couldn't have been a fake because all those doctors and nurses would have had to be in on the conspiracy. THEY ARE FORBIDDEN BY FEDERAL HIPAA LAW FROM ANNOUNCING MEDICAL FACTS ABOUT THEIR PATIENTS.

Julie said...

It's just not as sexy of a story, not one the public could latch onto with such fervo...........

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