In which I actually address a political rumor

A few days late, but I spent the first days of this week reading about some discrepancies in Sarah Palin’s recent pregnancy. Summary: some people think the child is actually her daughter’s (and that her daughter’s current pregnancy is a cover-up).

iReport had an article, but Karion’s article was more interesting (i.e. more sources), and it’s his I want to address here. After asking my labor-and-delivery-nurse mom about some of the details, she had a few corrections:

Karion:

Three days [after birth], [she] announces (at work) that the baby has Down’s syndrome, that she has known that since early in the pregnancy. Why would a staunchly pro-life woman, who opposes legal abortions for rape and incest victims, screen for birth defects when there is ABSOLUTELY no chance that she would have an abortion?

Because it’s not about “finding out if the baby is retarded so we can abort”. My mom:

“From a medical standpoint ANY woman 35 and older has the option to be tested for any chromosomal abnormalities because of the increased risk for problems.  A woman can be pro-life and still test, just because she wants to know!”

I know that care for the mother and fetus can change significantly if there are any problems, so it’s more of a matter of ensuring the well-being of both.

Karion:

Before giving a speech in Texas on April 17, 2008, while she was eight months’ pregnant, she starts having contractions and leaking amniotic fluid.

[The next morning], someone allegedly induces labor. If the leaking amniotic fluid wasn’t a concern enough to address for 18+ hours, let alone preclude approval for flight travel (the air pressure aggravates the dangers of infection and further irritation of the leak), and she wasn’t actually in labor when she arrived, why induce a premature birth of a baby with Down’s?

Because it has nothing to do with the air pressure. My mom:

The other clinical ignorance he has is that at “8mos.” that could mean 36 wks or 32 wks depending on how a lay person is looking at the calendar.  Generally, in the ob world if a pregnancy has ruptured membranes at 34 wks + for over 12 hrs without labor, you induce so that infection does not set in.  The baby has pretty good chance of survival at that point, the risk of infection would be greater.  They also often give an injection to the mom which can help mature the baby’s lungs.

So the mere fact that she was leaking for over 12 hours would make them likely to induce. The whole timeline makes me think that the amniotic fluid would have been a concern, except that she (for some reason) ran away from care for that long.

I respect that this is just a big rumor, but it does have some interesting details, and I’m curious to see how everything will play out.

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