Monday, August 03, 2009

What a 5-Week Preemie Really Looks Like

Sarah's "gone dark." Her devotees are experiencing withdrawals. Her lawyer is sending out unprofessional attack letters with demands—via e-mail, for chrissakes!

It's time to re-visit a certain time and certain images many in the media took for granted.

According to popular myth, Trig Paxson Van Palin was born on April 18, 2008. He was also reportedly born with jaundice, a hole in his heart, and with trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down syndrome.

Not only that, he was also reportedly born at 35 weeks, which would make him 5 weeks premature.

This little fact has never been examined much, as far as I know, so I did some reading on premature babies. Even those who are NOT already genetically challenged and are born this far in advance of their due dates normally undergo a week or two in a NICU, or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Because infants born before they achieve 37 weeks gestation have difficulty breathing and eating. Additionally, even without the Down syndrome complication, premature babies require temperature control because they simply do not have the capacity to warm themselves... thus they need a special environment in which to spend their first several days. They normally have to be fed by a nasal tube because their ability to suck a bottle or a breast is undeveloped. They also frequently need additional oxygen because their lungs are not developed enough to take in sufficient air. Another very common complication is jaundice, as a result of the fact that the infant's liver is simply not mature enough to process the bile before it builds up. If you doubt anything I'm saying here, please check yourself.

Here are three pictures of premature infants. These images were found searching '5 week premature infants' on Google's "image" search page. After reading the stories that came with each picture, I have every reason to believe that they represent actual pictures of newborn babies who were 5 weeks premature.

4-day old infant born 5 weeks prematurely, with feeding tube, in NICU

Infant born 5-6 weeks prematurely with jaundice

Newborn, 5 weeks premature, with jaundice and feeding tube

Now, here is Trig Paxson Van Palin right after he was born on April 18, 2008.

Trig Palin, shown here on the day of his birth, supposedly 5-weeks premature

Please recall that Trig and his "mother" were supposedly released from the hospital the day after the birth—a Saturday—and that his "mother" took him to work the following Monday for show and tell with the media.

Re-think this. The facility in which this premature infant was supposedly born didn't even have a NICU. So whatever early intervention may have been required was not even possible. If you knew you were having a special needs child, five weeks too soon, with the great likelihood that special equipment or treatment would be needed to preserve the life, would you intentionally go to a local clinic without the facilities, staff or know-how to help?

Re-think this. This 5-week premature infant with jaundice (what jaundice?) and a hole in his heart and Down syndrome, all conditions which require, anywhere else in the world, careful treatment and monitoring in a facility specially equipped to handle it, was taken to work a couple days after birth and presented as proof of the crazy ex-governor lady's religious pro-birth credentials.

As the crazy ex-governor lady would have us believe, not only was she pregnant for just a month, her miracle baby managed to be born and survive without any of the customary clinicians or neonatal equipment that any of us would have insisted upon, in spite of his early arrival and challenging circumstances.

Yeah, right. And I've got a bridge to nowhere for sale. Any bidders?
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