Raw Journolist emails on ‘Palin’s Downs child’

Harold Pollack
Aug 30, 2008, 2:09pm

I admit–the flight story is weird at best.I’ll take your $5 bet.

Maggie Mahar
Aug 30, 2008, 2:26pm

“so of course you should not got on a six-hour flight . .”

Come ‘on Mark. “Of course . . .should not”???

No one has right to tell a woman what she “should” or “shouldn’t” do in this situation..

Why so judgmental?

If she downed a quart of Scotch while going into labor, you might have something to say.

Since you’ve never given birth you just aren’t in a position to realize that a woman who is in tune with her body has a pretty good sense of what’s going on , how much time she has, etc. It’s the father that is always in a panic–we have to get to the hosptial .!!! . Especially after you’ve had one child, you’re really not in a rush to get to a hospital.

And I would feel much, much safer on a plane that in a hospital I don’t know, alone, without a patient advocate. (Hospitals are dangerous places.) \ See my response to Laurne.

Finally, Downs Babies generally do not need special (pediatric ICU) care after delivery. . .

Laura Rozen
Aug 30, 2008, 2:28pm

seriously, if her water broke and the baby was what two months premature, it doesn’t seem normal to have not gone straight to the nearest hospital.

again, if the official story is true.

but that just doesn’t make any sense.

Mark Kleiman
Aug 30, 2008, 2:29pm

Assume for the moment that the switching story is true and that it reflects bad behavior on Palin’s part. On those assumptions, let’s talk about the act of revealing the deception.

* It might hurt Palin politically, which, on the assumption, she deserves.
* It would certainly hurt the actual mother, and the child. Neither of them deserves to be hurt.

Therefore, I claim, it would be wrong to reveal the deception even if the evidence were in hand.

Politically, this smells like a red herring and a trap, and I think that the revelation that someone was sniffing around about it would outrage large numbers of voters. Palin’s public life presents a target-rich environment for investigation.

So this story desperately needs a good leaving-alone.

Brad DeLong
Aug 30, 2008, 2:32pm

It’s a three-hour flight to Seattle. Two hours on the ground in the Seattle Airport. And then another three-hour flight to Anchorage. It’s your fifth baby. You know what happens after your water breaks, and you can be pretty sure that things won’t move so fast that you give birth in the plane over Idaho. And you can reevaluate the situation in Seattle.

Mind you, not telling the airline was a pretty dirty trick…

Maggie Mahar
Aug 30, 2008, 2:45pm

Yes, I agree with Mark.

Ghough I don’t even think “switching” represents bad behavior, if that was what her
daughter wanted to do. If I were a teen-ager, I wouldn’t want to give up my baby for adoption . And I would hate the idea of terminating. I’d love it if my Mom was willing to take care of it. Who could I trust more with my baby?

Also I really wouldn’t want to deal with the gossip about the fact I had a baby–particuarly and the kids at school. High school kids are such gossips–and can be so judgemental. (Has anyone read the book by Glenn Greenwald’, “Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics.”? I’ve read only the Salon excerpt, but it’s about how the Karl Rove/Chris Matthews petty focus on personality unleashes the dynamics of
high school . . .

Mark Schmitt
Aug 30, 2008, 3:11pm

It’s not a matter of being judgmental — it’s that to believe the official story requires believing that she would do something extremely unlikely, probably irresponsible (one could give birth in an airplane or at SEA-TAC, but shouldn’t create a situation where there’s a good chance of that happening) and that would contradict most medical advice.

I don’t think there’s any reason to think that women have a perfect sense of just when labor will begin or how long it will last. Otherwise, no babies would ever be born in taxis. And even if you’ve given birth four times, and know your body’s routine, a very premature birth at 44, seven years after your last previous pregnancy, just might take a very different course.

This may be more than anyone needs to know, but when Holly’s water broke at 2:00 a.m. on the due date, we both went back to sleep because she had a regular appointment with her mellow nurse-midwives at 9:00 the next morning. (I was not a panicky dad.) When we got there, the midwife said we needed to get to St. Vincent’s ASAP and that the baby had to be out in 24 hours. She also didn’t let Holly fly for I think the last two months.

Maybe the official story is all true and her answer, like yours, is that she felt safer on a plane than in a hospital. Perhaps we should just turn health care over to the airlines.

Mark Kleiman
Aug 30, 2008, 3:16pm

The press release said something about wanting the kid to be “Alaska born.” Is that a legal status having to do with the right to collect a share of the oil royalties? If so, the present value of $3000 a year for life for the kid, in a family that’s apparently not wealthy, might have been a significant consideration.