Thursday, May 10, 2012

The experiences of Jane Swift, who truly gave birth while serving as a governor, highlight how false Sarah Palin's birth claims are

The utter absurdity of Sarah Palin's claim to have given birth to Trig in April 2008 is highlighted by looking at what happened when a governor really gave birth while in office – that is, when Jane Swift of Massachusetts delivered twins on May 15, 2001.

A typical story about that birth, appearing at CNN, started this way:

Acting Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift Tuesday gave birth by C-section to healthy twin girls, hospital officials said.

"She's fine, she's doing well," said Dr. Leila Schueler, the governor's doctor.

OK, let's examine that. The first line quotes an official of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, presumably an employee of the hospital who prepared a press release and/or took press calls. How different this was from Palin's alleged birth, in which the hospital where she claims she gave birth, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, absolutely refuses to say a word ... nada, zip ... about whether there was a birth, or even whether Palin was a patient.

The next line quotes Dr. Schueler saying the governor is "doing well." And who is Dr. Schueler? She was the BWH obstetrician/gynecologist who delivered the baby – in other words, a maternity specialist. Compare this to Palin's improbable claim that her personal physician, a family doctor, delivered Trig, a premature special-needs baby. 

The next day, CNN carried a followup story, which said in part:

The first born, Lauren, experienced some minor breathing problems and was taken to a special care nursery for observation.

"They expect her to be in there for about a day or so just for some observation," said Swift's spokesman, Jason Kauppi. 

So far as news reports show, Swift's twins had no disabilities or special needs. Still, as we see in the quote, the medical staff, wanting to make sure there were no problems, placed one of the twins in a special nursery for a day. And if there had been a problem, BWH is a teaching hospital with a top-rated neonatal ICU that could have handled virtually any emergency.

By contrast, Mat-Su Regional, a very small hospital, has no neonatal ICU. So it would have been bizarre for Palin to chose to give birth there. After all, Trig has Down syndrome, and Palin claimed she was delivering a month early; surely a concerned mother would want adequate facilities on hand to handle an emergency.

Moreover, Palin claimed she flew into Anchorage after her labor started, and then drove nearly an hour more to reach Mat-Su Regional. Why would she not save time and simply go Providence hospital in Anchorage, the largest and best-equipped hospital in Alaska? After all, her family doctor, who purportedly delivered Trig, has full privileges there.

The answer, of course, is Palin did not give birth that day. She claimed she gave birth at Mat-Su Regional because, as a former board member there, she was confident no one there would reveal she staged a hoax.

But back to Swift: three days after the birth, the hospital released a statement to the press containing the following:

A week after being admitted to BWH for contractions, Acting Governor Jane Swift underwent a Caesarean section to deliver twin girls Tuesday evening. 

During Swift’s five-day recovery at BWH, “she will do what most new mothers do—fawn over her children,” said spokesman Jason Kauppi to a crowd of reporters ...

So we see that Jane Swift was admitted to the hospital fully a week before the birth, and that afterward she would stay in the hospital for five more days. And how does that compare to the amazing Mrs. Palin? 

Sarah, you will recall, claimed her water broke more than 20 hours before she went to the hospital, and that after her contractions started, she boarded a plane and flew more than 3,000 miles from Texas to Alaska. (Doesn't she make Swift look like a wimp!) 

And how many days did Sarah allegedly spend in the hospital recuperating after the alleged birth? Er ... how many hours? Well, there is no real evidence she was there at all, but the official story has it that she left the hospital the same same day she gave birth. So, five days recuperation for Swift, and well under a day for Palin. 

I could go on. But I think the above makes my point. Palin's fake birth in no way resembled what we would expect if she, as governor, really gave birth while in office. The hospital where she allegedly delivered will not say a word about the birth; and her alleged time in and out of that hospital was implausibly short. Palin's farfetched claims seem consistent only with a hoax; they deviate enormously from what happened in the case of a governor, Jane Swift, who truly gave birth while in office.