I'm really grateful for Patrick and readers for pushing back on my speculations about Palin. The reader who suggests that the implausibility of her labor narrative is simply a function of her usual delusional embellishment is extremely persuasive. In fact, I'd say it's easily the likeliest explanation for what really happened. She made a lot of stuff up, as she always does, in order to make the story more gripping and to add to her aura as the tough-girl Alaskan. So of course the story doesn't make sense (and we may never know which bits are true and which just truthy). And the need to have the kid born in Alaska does make more sense when you consider Todd's extremist politics.
It could also easily be true that, as she said in Indiana, she simply had conflicted feelings about this pregnancy and considered an abortion. Grappling with that, she kept it all secret, got caught in lies about it, and her ambivalence about her pregnancy may even have led her unconsciously to act irrationally during labor. This is very human and very real and deserves our sympathy, not derision. But in national politics, you have to explain all this from the get-go, or just release the medical records on or off the record, and move on by defusing and humiliating bloggers like me. I understand that this is easier said than done, but when you accept a veep nomination, and ask people to contemplate putting you in the most powerful job in the world, you just have to suck it up and tell the truth. That's the awful price of public life. If she had told her story at the start, I think she would have earned much more support and admiration and become a real and much more persuasive advocate for the pro-life movement. But she didn't. And so the rubber-necking began.