Palin says she was surprised the McCain camp knew about her then-17-year-old daughter's pregnancy because at the time only the family knew. She was also surprised by the way the information became public, she says. "If [Bristol and I] had been given the allowance to deal with the issue in a more productive way, we perhaps could have sent a better message: 'This is not to be glamorized. It is not to be emulated. It is a tough, tough challenge and it is a problem in America, so let's try and deal with it.'"
When the news of Bristol's pregnancy first broke, Palin says she tried to send that very message, but the message was rewritten and she and her husband were painted to be doting soon-to-be grandparents. "Just a little bit of an indication of problems to come about what I would be able to say and how I would be able to speak or not speak my heart and my values and seize opportunities to communicate better," she says.
Bristol called her mother when she saw her pregnancy on the news, Palin says. "She was quite devastated and, perfectly honestly, she was quite embarrassed," she says. "She called me in tears saying 'Oh, mom, now not just [in] Wasilla do they know what's going on in my life. Now the whole world knows.'"