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My Pregnancy: A True Story
February 1979: My husband and I had been trying to conceive a child for three years with no results. We scheduled an appointment with a fertility specialist. All of our tests came back normal. The doctor suggested fertility drugs might do the trick so I began taking Clomid.
March 1979: My period was late but that wasn’t unusual. Still we crossed our fingers as we performed one of those new-fangled home pregnancy tests. We were so disappointed when no ring formed in the bottom of the test tube. I took the Clomid again.
April 1979: Another pregnancy test. Same result. I went to the doctor and had a test just in case the EPT was wrong. Clomid again.
May 1979: My husband lost his job and we had to move in with his family. We lost our health insurance and couldn’t afford the Clomid. We still hoped I might get pregnant but the environment we were living in wasn’t exactly conducive.
June 1979: My husband got a temporary job, leaving me to spend the days with his parents who didn’t like me. I was my husband’s second wife and they had objected to his divorce. I didn’t break up his marriage but my in-laws acted as if I had. My mother-in'-law was aware that we were trying to get pregnant and couldn’t hide her glee when she spotted the proof that we had failed again in the trash.
July 1979: The middle of the month I began spotting. My mother-in-law knew and I could tell she was happy. I was also having severe cramps. Much worse than usual. My husband finally took me to their family doctor even though we had to dip into the money we were saving to get our own place. After he examined me, he told me I had a urinary tract infection. He also told me that I either had a tumor or I was pregnant. He said he’d bet a dollar to a doughnut that I was pregnant. My husband and I were ecstatic when the doctor called the next day and said that he had won the bet. My in-laws reacted coldly to the news. I tried to stay out of their way while my husband worked. My husband got me a Dachshund puppy to keep me company. We named him Scooter which soon got shortened to Cooter.
August 1979: I had my first pre-natal visit at a large hospital in the area. My husband and I were shocked to learn that I was nearly four months pregnant. Evidently the Clomid had worked and all the tests had been wrong. I was scared that something might be wrong with the baby because I had experienced bleeding throughout the months I hadn’t known I was pregnant but thankfully everything appeared to be okay. I had always been on the chubby side so even though my clothes had been getting tighter, I never thought that I might be expecting because of all the negative tests and because I had my periods. I thought the weight gain was because I ate a lot of junk food while my husband was working.
September 1979: I really started to look pregnant. I could no longer wear my regular tops. Most of my pants still fit because I always wore them loose. My in-laws weren’t happy that I was expecting their first grandchild and they pretty much shunned me. I would have gone nuts if I hadn’t had Cooter to keep me company while my husband worked. The dog would lie on the bed with his head on my belly. I think he could hear the baby’s heartbeat.
October 1979: My pregnancy was still progressing normally. I craved cheeseburgers with pickles, mustard and ketchup and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Cooter loved to ride with my husband and I in the car. All we had to do was call Coot-a-loot-a-looter and he would come running, his belly dragging the ground. My husband got an old Dodge Pick-Up truck when our car broke down and Cooter hated it. He would hide from us when we called him to go for a ride in it. My husband’s temporary job ended and we decided to go stay with my parents until the baby was born. I can’t say I was unhappy to leave my in-laws home.
November 1979: We suffered two losses that month. First, my great-aunt died. I was very close to her. She was like a Grandmother to me. A week after her funeral, my husband let Cooter out to do his business. I wasn’t feeling well and was in bed. My husband came in the bedroom and sat beside of me while he waited for the dog to come to the door. We heard a thud from outside and my husband jumped up and said he’d be back in a minute. My parents still lived in the house where I grew up. It was on a quiet country road. I’d had many pets as a child and none of them had ever been run over. Cooter wasn’t as lucky. My husband didn’t want to tell me what had happened for fear I might go into labor. We buried Cooter behind the house. He was the last dog I ever formed a bond with. I’ve been close to a few cats since but no other dog has ever captured my heart.
December 1979: I experienced some pains the 7th of December. I was worried sick. I called my husband at his new job. He rushed home and took me to the hospital. It was false labor. I asked how big the baby was and the doctor said about four pounds. My due date was still over five weeks away. The doctor said everything looked good and told me to go home and take it easy. About 2am on the 10th, I awoke lying in a pool of water. I had no pains of any kind but I knew my water had broken and I remembered what the doctor had told me. If your water breaks or even leaks come straight to the hospital because both you and your baby are at great risk of infection. We got in the truck and drove the 25 miles to the hospital. It was freezing cold and the truck had no heat. I was scared to death that the baby might be born a month early. I prayed he or she would be okay all the way to the hospital. I was admitted as soon as we got to the ER. When my labor hadn’t begun by morning, a Pitocin drip was started. I was in hard labor for hours but never dilated enough to deliver. Finally, the decision was made to do a C- Section. My son arrived at 3:48am on December 11th. He weighed 3 pounds, 14 ounces and was 17 inches long. He had a heart murmur, jaundice and pneumonia. The doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving. He spent two weeks in the NICU and we finally got to take him home on Christmas morning. That was the best Christmas ever.
Conclusion: Even though it has been over 31 years since my pregnancy, I remember the whole experience as if it were yesterday. Some things are just unforgettable.
Sarah Palin’s 2007 -2008 Pregnancy: A Tall Tale
Fall 2007: Sarah Palin experienced some familiar symptoms that made her suspect that she was pregnant. As Governor of Alaska she didn’t want to purchase a pregnancy test at a local drug store so she waited to buy one until she was in another state where she was virtually unknown. When the test confirmed her suspicions, Sarah even considered having an abortion since she was away from home and no one would ever know.
Sarah didn’t want to break the news to Todd over the telephone. However, when she returned home he was away. Due to both of their busy schedules, they kept missing each other, so it was a few weeks before they were in the same room and she told him she was pregnant. Todd was thrilled.
Winter 2007 – 2008: When Sarah was 12 weeks along she paid a visit to her doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson who informed Sarah that due to her age, 43, there was about a 1 in 80 chance of the baby having Down Syndrome. Sarah wasn’t worried. She was healthy, all of her children were healthy but CBJ as the Palin’s called the doctor wanted Sarah to have an ultrasound.
Across the hall, the technician, a jovial older lady prepped Sarah and performed the test. They joked with each other as the wand traveled across Sarah’s abdomen. When the technician grew a bit quieter, Sarah flashed back to an earlier ultrasound when she had learned she had suffered a miscarriage.
Then the technician grinned and told Sarah that she saw boy parts and asked if that would be good. Sarah told the woman that would be perfect and thought how wonderful God is and how he knew best.
Still the woman kept passing the transducer over Sarah’s belly. It seemed to be taking a long time. Finally the technician said she wasn’t sure the baby was a boy. It might be a girl.It was taking so long Sarah no longer cared if the baby was a boy or a girl. A healthy girl would be wonderful. She just wanted the technician to tell her everything was fine. Then the woman said the baby’s neck was a little thicker than normal.
Sarah first thought about how amazing it was that they could measure the neck at only 12 weeks along. Then she remembered that she had heard somewhere that a thick neck was a sign of Down Syndrome. She knew a moment of fear but then was comforted by the thought that God wouldn’t give her anything she couldn’t handle. And she didn’t think she could handle that.
She was busy. Always on the go. She always talked about how lucky she was that all her kids were healthy, self-sufficient overachievers. She had a difficult job and other children who needed her. She couldn’t fathom how she could add a special-needs baby to the mix and make it all work. Unless God knows me better than I know myself she thought, He won’t send me a special-needs baby.
The next day Sarah received a call from CBJ. The ultrasound pictures combined with her age meant there was a 1 in 12 chance the baby would be born with Down Syndrome. Well, she thought, that means there’s still a 90 percent chance everything will be okay.
CBJ wanted Sarah to see a doctor in Anchorage. A geneticist. She also offered an amniocentesis. Sarah had always refused amnios before since she was positive she would never have an abortion. This time she decided to have the test. She needed to know so she could prepare. Sarah visited the geneticist alone since Todd was out of town the day of the appointment. She entered the office through the back door and used her maiden name. Sarah was very scared. Three days later CBJ called Sarah at her office in Anchorage. It was 2:22pm. The time was still stuck in her head. The amnio results were in and CBJ wanted Sarah to come to her office.
But Sarah wanted the results over the phone. Maybe if I am strong, she thought, God will reward me with good news.CBJ was reluctant and tried to convince Sarah to come to her office. Again Sarah refused. She was busy. Whatever the results were it would be okay. Just tell me, she told CBJ. The doctor then told Sarah the baby would be born with Down Syndrome. Sarah told CBJ she was coming to Wasilla and hung up the phone.
Sarah was shocked. How could God do this. Her sister had a special-needs kid. Wasn’t one in the family enough. She gritted her teeth all the way to Wasilla refusing to cry. Her eyes stayed dry as she sped toward Wasilla with her mind
Maybe it’s a mistake. Maybe the results got switched with someone else’s. Maybe the test is wrong. Are you listening, God? But it wasn’t a mistake. When she got to the office, CBJ showed her the pictures. There was an extra copy of chromosome 21.
CBJ told Sarah it was a boy. Sarah thanked God for that. It gave her a warm feeling. The doctor left the room and returned with a pamphlet for parents expecting a Down Syndrome child. Sarah didn’t open it. She wasn’t ready. She wasn’t the one to handle this. Her sisters were. She didn’t know if she had the love and compassion needed to raise a child that society would view as less than perfect. She wondered if she should be ashamed for thinking such things.
Todd finally got home a few days later. He was on the bed still wearing his winter coat when Sarah handed him the pictures and she finally broke down. Between sobs, she told him it was definitely a boy.He looked up at her with tears in his eyes and told her that was great and that God knew what he was doing.
Sarah stood beside the bed and blurted out the news that the baby had Down Syndrome. Todd was quiet. He just flipped through the pictures over and over as if he were searching for answers. Finally, Sarah sat down beside him. He didn’t react so she asked him what he thought.
He asked if they were sure and how they knew. She told him they were sure because there was an extra chromosome. Todd put the pictures aside. He looked at Sarah and told her he was happy and sad. Sarah thought it was perfect the way he put it because that’s the way it was and she felt the same way. Todd said it would be okay. Sarah asked him if he wondered why them like she did. Todd seemed surprised by the question and asked why not them.
From then on Todd never seemed to worry about it. He often wondered aloud about what kind of things the coming child would be interested in. He would ask people with special-needs children what their kid liked to do and if they played sports. Todd was more optimistic and accepting of the situation than Sarah who was still struggling to come to terms with the reality. They didn’t share the pregnancy with anyone. Not even their children.
Sarah wasn’t ready to deal with this yet or answer questions. She had always faced challenges head-on but this was different so she stayed silent. She began writing a letter to family and friends explaining not only the challenges but the joy this baby would bring to their lives.
Sarah wrote the letter in the voice of the baby’s Creator. She thought the letter was the best way to share the news with family and friends not knowing it would be used by a hostile journalist during the Vice Presidential campaign to mock her family and Christianity by saying that she was so self-absorbed that she wrote a letter as if she were speaking for God.
Soon Sarah was 7 months along. She hadn’t gained much weight and by wearing winter clothes and cleverly draped scarves she was able to hide the pregnancy. No one saw how big she was or suspected she was expecting. But a blazer was getting tight and Willow, her 2nd oldest daughter remarked that she was porking up. Sarah shushed her and said pass the Häagen-Dazs. Chocolate, with peanut butter.
She hadn’t finished the letter but she and Todd decided to share the news that she was pregnant with family and a few close friends. Their kids were ecstatic.
Soon after the Palin’s decided to make their news public. Sarah invited 3 reporters to come over. She could have just made a matter of fact announcement but decided to play a little game.
First she told them the first family was expanding. No reaction.She decided to put it another way.She asked the reporters if they remembered her promise to deliver for Alaska.They still didn’t have a clue but they readied their pens and notebooks for the big scoop that was obviously coming.
Finally, Sarah decided to can the jokes and just blurt out the news.She told them she was pregnant and due in two months.
Three chins dropped and three pairs of astonished eyes gazed at Sarah’s mid-section. She laughed as the three reporters pulled out their phones. Sarah waved goodbye and left the room. Within ten minutes Sarah’s announcement was all over the news.
Spring 2008: Todd and Sarah checked into a Dallas hotel the following month. Sarah was scheduled to speak at a conference the next day. She was due in 5 weeks but the pregnancy was progressing well. However, the next morning a strange sensation in her lower stomach awoke Sarah at 4am. She sat straight up in the bed. No, she thought. It’s too soon. A few minutes later she shook Todd awake and told him something was happening. He sat up in bed, wide awake. He said he was calling CBJ.
Sarah told him not to since it was 1am in Alaska. She didn’t want to call anyone right then. She wanted to wait a bit and see if the baby was really on the way. She also wanted to pray and asked God silently but with great emotion to please let it all be okay. Sarah was fraught with despair for the baby. Please keep this baby safe. She realized, despite all her doubts and fears during this pregnancy, how much she loved her baby. God, please protect the baby. It would be such a tragedy to lose the baby now. God knew what He was doing.
Despite Sarah’s objections, Todd called CBJ. Sarah told the doctor that she felt fine. She absolutely didn’t want to cancel her speech and let people down. They agreed she would take it easy, make her speech and then catch an earlier flight back to Alaska. There was plenty of time.
Later that afternoon Sarah delivered her speech and received a standing ovation. She handed the microphone to her co-host Governor Rick Perry of Texas and left the stage. Rick Perry chuckled over the sound system. “Hey, we're not finished with the program! I know you're pregnant,” Rick said, joking into the microphone. “But don't tell me you're going off to have the baby right now!”
The audience laughed as Sarah smiled and waved goodbye. Little did they know, she thought. Sarah met Todd at the exit. He said that even though he loved the state they couldn’t have a fish picker born in Texas. They had a quite, relatively peaceful flight home.
Many hours later with Todd and their daughters nearby Sarah delivered Trig Paxson Van Palin. She was overwhelmed with love when the nurse placed the baby in her arms and she knew God had answered her prayers.
Sarah was glad God had let Trig join them early. They were so anxious to see him. Sarah hadn’t known how Trig would look or how she would feel but when she saw the baby she felt true joy. God had made Trig perfect even though he was different.
Conclusion: The above is a paraphrasing of an excerpt from Going Rogue. Although it isn’t word for word as written in the book, it is an accurate version of the events as Sarah described them in the book. Funny that it differs a bit from The Wild Ride. Even odder is that Sarah can no longer remember that Trig was born at Mat-Su Regional Hospital and how far along she was when she delivered Trig. There has to be a good explanation for your forgetting details that most women remember forever, right Sarah? My guess is that you can’t remember the details because none of it ever happened.
Additional information and observations: None of the pictures used in telling the story of my pregnancy are personal. They were all obtained from the internet but they are accurate representations.
The pictures used in telling the tale of Sarah’s non-pregnancy are a mix of actual internet photos of Palin and family and photos from the internet that represent situations she said occurred during her pregnancy.
Notice the striking difference between the baby representing my newborn son in the NICU and Trig Palin. Both supposedly 5 weeks early. Strange. Very strange.