Update: Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin welcomes son; introducing Trig Paxson Van

04/22/2008 at 10:40 AM ET

13webpalin_t575Update: Photo of Trig and more information added.

Originally posted April 18th: Although not due until May 18th, the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, gave birth to her fifth child today, Friday, April 18th, at 6:30 am. Trig Paxson Van Palin weighed in at 6 lbs, 2 oz when he was born at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Trig is a Norse word meaning "true" and "brave victory." The name is in honor of his great uncle, a Bristol Bay fisherman, while the name Paxson comes from the well-known snowmobiling area in Alaska, which Sarah and husband Todd Palin love.

Click below for the rest of the post and a photo of Trig.

Sarah, 44, had her water unexpectedly break (just a slow leak ofamniotic fluid, she shared) while attending an energy conference inTexas, but checked in with her doctor, was able to stay, deliver a 30minute speech, and then get on a plane to return to her home state intime for the delivery (which ended up needing to be induced) early thismorning.

I am not a glutton for pain and punishment. I would have never wanted totravel had I been fully engaged in labor.  After four kids I knew what labor felt like, and I wasn’t inlabor.

Sarah said that while she did not tell the pilot or flightattendants that she was 36 weeks along, she did not hide her conditioneither

The family initially released a statement saying that Trig has "special challenges," but did not specify what they are. However, on Monday, April 21st, they said the baby has Down Syndrome. Sarah and Todd’s statement reads,

Trig is beautiful and already adored by us.We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and wefeel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow usunspeakable joy as he entered our lives. Wehave faith that every baby is created for good purpose and haspotential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.

On Monday, Sarah shared that she "initially felt sad" when hearing the diagnosis.

Whenwe first heard, it was kind of confusing. It was very, verychallenging. [But now,] it just feels like he fits perfectly. He issupposed to be here with us.

The pregnancy was announced in March. Trig joins siblings Track, 18, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper,7. Sarah said she does not plan to take a maternity leave, but isbreastfeeding, will bring her son to work with her, and plans to takesome days of for his pediatrician appointments


Source: Alaska News; KTUU; ADN

Thanks to CBB readers Sarah, Shay, and April.

FILED UNDER: Babies , Births , News

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Asiram on

May God bless them in this time…what a wonderful attitude they have toward the situation (“special challenges”) – all children are a blessing, and they are blessed to have the resources to be able to take care of him.

christina on

I just can’t get over the fact that she flew while in labor.

Kat on

Congrats to them!!

I flew from CA to DC at 39 weeks pregnant and it was SO uncomfortable. I was pretty sure the baby would come flying out at any moment. I can only imagine how she felt.

kimk on

That is a great weight for being a month early. I also can’t believe she flew while in labor..

mary on

I too can’t believe she flew in labor. She seems to have a strong faith. I wish the family the best! five children, I’m going nuts with four:)

jillyen on

I thought after a certain point during pregnancy you aren’t supposed to fly especially while in labor. they choose some interesting names for their children. I like the name Willow though.

Nikka on

I don’t believe what im reading neither. Who in their right mind goes in labor for at least 4-5 hours flight (Im not sure exactly) and who in right mind lets a woman in labor on board? Something’s not right here. I am glad I dont live in Alaska, governor-wise.

Jen on

Cool names! I agree with others, flying while IN labor. That is pretty extreme measure just to ensure that the baby was born in Alaska?!

I do not think 5 kids will stress them out too much as they only have one under the age of 10.

They must be Van Halen fans — Van Palin rhymes!!

ang on

why not just have the baby in texas?

Michelle on

Well, she probably flew on a private jet with her private staff. She may have even had a medical professional flying with her. I guess after that many kids, she knows her body and what to expect.

Erica on


Maybe it’s a family name?

In any case, the baby sounds great for being a month early and I’ve got to applaud Governor Palin for braving a flight all the way to Alaska while in labor! That’s gotta be rough.

Kris on

My guess would be that knowing the baby would have challenges she wanted to ensure he was close to home if there was an extended hospital stay.

I wish the family all the best.

chatty cricket on

Kris, you are probably right. Or perhaps they had been working closely with a team of doctors they felt comfortable with? If Trig has special circumstances, I’m sure they were all preparing for his birth, and an early birth makes it even trickier. I’m sure she received clearance before flying….

Congratulations to them on their new little blessing! Their children have such beautiful names.

Michelle on

The Palins have four other children including Track, 18, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13 and Piper, 7, they choose unique names that likely have special meaning to them. Trygg is a common name in Alaskan heritage. I’m guessing they flew home to deliver him, knowing he would have special needs and that their own team of Doctors etc would be prepared to handle the birth without needing to “get up to speed”, not to mention being the Gov, she likely wanted her son born in his own home state. It seems young Trig has Down syndrome, and that he was born into the perfect family for him. They will be welcomed into the DS community!

nosoupforyou on

The minute I read her age, I was pretty sure about the “special challenges.

Trig can and will have a full life.

Demi on

Wow, congrats!!
All boys???

M on

does baby trig have down syndrome,or did she not give specifics..?? sweet little guy,he is 🙂

Mandy on

“The minute I read her age, I was pretty sure about the “special challenges.”

Please remove this post. I work with plenty of young moms who are devastated that they have a baby with Down Syndrome and angry because their doctors only encouraged an amnio at age 35 or older. This comment breeds misinformation.

Please do NOT publish this comment.

Mandy on

Congratulations. He is beautiful!

Kelsa on

Congratulations to them! It’s so nice to hear how they feel about having a Downs/special needs kid. My younger brother has Down Syndrome and he is without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to my family and is just the sweetest kid in the world, despite the challenges and hard times!

Tara Marie on

Welcome to the world Sweet Trig Paxson!

What a blessed child you are to be welcomed into the hearts of your family unconditionally and with great joy!!!!!

Thank you for posting about this birth!

Hea on

nosoupforyou – I thought the same thing. 44 years old and a baby with special needs.

He sure is a cute little munchkin! I hope, if he has Downs or whatever else, that he does not have the additional problems that comes with it sometimes such as heart problems. I wish him good health and a long and happy life. 🙂 Welcome to the world, Trig!

Felecia on

Congratulations to the family! My youngest son has Down syndrome and he is such a huge blessing to our family!

Just to note that I was only 24 when I had my son, doesn’t just occur with older mothers 🙂

Kristina on

Congrats to Alaska’s first family! Adorable picture and I really like Trig’s name! My daughter’s middle name is also a place that is significant to me and my husband. …

Sam on

todd’s beautiful statement made me want to cry – such a lovely thing to say!

mary proctor on

The newest addition to your family is absolutely georgous!! Babies are angels sent from God to fill our lives with love and joy. It sounds like Trig is a welcomed addition to a loving family who is a special as Trig is.
Welcome to the world Trig and may the Lord watch over you and your family, always!!

mary on

Im in love he makes me want another:) Best of luck and Congrats.

nosoupforyou on


We didn’t say it just occurs with older mother but it is much more common in older mothers.

I hope your little blessing has given you much joy.

Hea on

Felecia – You are absolutely right, it can happen at any age but it is more common with older mothers. I have read numbers but I can’t remember where or what they said. It’s not really important either. 🙂

Carrie on

Posted by: Erica at Apr 19, 2008 1:05:48 AM

Re: the name Trig- they said in the article it was in honor of one of her uncles.

I think it is so lovely they look at this so positively. The baby is lucky to have understanding parents! I hope he is doing well too. My OBGYN has me do testing early on too and it was stressful even though I felt the results would be fine. You just never know. I almost didn’t want to have the test as it would not have changed how much we wanted our little one.
anyway their new addition hasa great family!

Kate on

My mom’s doctor told her a woman in her 20s has a 1 in 105 chance of conceiving a DS child while a woman in her 20s has about a 1 in 1,000 chance.

Barb Rizk on

Congratulations! I wish all the best for you and your family! What a blessing to have this child and the resources to make a difference in his life and the lives of all differently abled children in ALaska and the U.S.! There is a reason for all lifes turns.

Dianna Hansen on

Congratulations on the birth of your sweet little boy! Our daughter Victoria has Down Syndrome. Your lives will have more joy than you ever knew was possible. We wish you well on this amazing and wonderful journey.

Kelly on

It was reported on Alaska television news that Sarah Palin and her husband Todd Palin flew from Texas to Alaska on a commercial airplane (Alaska Airline) “because she didn’t want her baby born on Texas soil.”

She concealed her pregnancy and didn’t tell anyone, not even the airline, that her water had broke and that she was in labor.

Would anyone here do that just so your special needs child would be born in your home state?

Pogue Mahone on

I’m surprised they let her fly; i thought you weren’t allowed to past 36 weeks? Being her 4th esp. she’s lucky he wasn’t born on the plane,and I don’t know much about US geography, but I’m thinking Texas to Alaska wouldn’t be a short flight, either…
What a cute little guy he is,too(and I thought the “special challenges” was Down’s from the beginning) and she is indeed blessed; I have heard Down’s children are very rewarding and enrich your life.I guess it’s like a four-leaf clover; due to a mutation but rare and special, and you are lucky if you find one!

Lucy Odden on

I cannot belive that someone can go and travel before she gives birth the Governor and her husband are very proud to have a new Baby son. But it is going to be a lot of work for the Governor to deal with someone with a Disabilities and she is very Supportive. on Diffrent Issues on Program for People with Disabities a she is going for some Challages on her own and we can support on that for the Governor’s Council

Lucy Odden

Anchorage Ak (Alaska Governor’s Council and Disablties and Special Ed

Hea on

Having a child with Downs syndrome is of course a gift like all children on this earth are but it is hard work lots of the time too. I know here in Sweden at least, there is this understanding that children with Downs are always happy and always so joyful. Not true. Like every other child, kids with Downs can be quite frankly be a pain in your ass.

I do not like it when you bunch together people with the same diagnosis and say “they are”. Every person is his or her own individual. The thing about people with Downs though is that they do tend to simplify their way to comprehend and view the world. They do not complicate their lives like “normal” people tend to do. This inspires me (I sometimes work with kids with different disabilities, among them Downs) to loosen up my own life and my own musts.

Becky Gallegos on

I don’t blame her for flying home for the birth. She would be there alone. Her husband would probably miss the birth and her family couldn’t be there to share this special time. Plus after doing this 4 times already I am sure she knew she had plenty of time. Congrats to them! What a beautiful little boy and seems like a pretty lucky little man to have such a great family.

Allison on

Congratulations on your new family addition. My first son also had Down Syndrome. I completely understand the confusing feelings upon birth, as you do feel sad because your baby isn’t healthy or will live the life most kiddos do. But, as in my case, I soon realized that I was so blessed to have Seth in my life and that I was ready to be his champion. I truly love the Down Syndrome community and how it was affected our lives. The Palin family was chosen by God to love this most special loving child.

Evonne on

First of all welcome your new son to your family. I have two children with special needs. Just remember it’s not what they can’t do. is what they can do. God bless you and your new son.

Lissa Ryan on

A lot of people appear to be missing the point that she was not in labor. She had a slight leak, and knew what labor feels like after having 4 kids and she clearly states she was not in labor. Not only did she make it safely back to Alaska, she passed up three other hospitals in Anchorage so she could deliver comfortably in her home hospital located in the Mat-Su Valley. It was there that the governor was then induced, because she still was not in active labor.
In Alaska a very large portion of the population does not have a hospital, or even a clinic, in their hometowns or villages. Not only that many are not even connected to any city by a road system, be it paved road or the Alaska Marine Highway. This leaves a lot of women needing to hop a plane while in labor. So she would not have been, by far, the first Alaskan woman to hop a plane while in labor, had she even been in labor to begin with. It does solidify our choices, at least by a lot of the women here, that we voted the right person into office. It takes a tough person to head this huge state and all of it’s issues. Palin must have what it takes considering she has managed to keep on top of all of this state’s needs, give a speech, then fly home to give birth to her very special son.

Dierna on

There’s a web comic I read about paint ballers. It’s set in Alaska. This week’s issue talks about the unusual name the governor chose. *L*


Rhonda on

Gov. Palin does not have a private jet(besides their family cub), nor a private flight staff. (She sold the last gov’s jet he bought for the position said it wasn’t needed)
She flew back with Ak Airlines back to Anchorage.

snow on

I have always had a special place in my heart for children with Down’s Syndrome. They are some of the happiest children you will ever see and also some of the sweetest! It takes a lot of personal strength for a woman to be involved in politics and I have no doubt that this personal strength will help the Governor and her husband raise their newest bundle of joy through any challenges he may have to overcome! I also commend her on the unique name choices for her children. Congrats to the Palin family!

Juneau on

We are honored here in Alaska to have Sarah as our Governor. Now we’re truly blessed to have Trig and the rest of the Palin family share their lives with us.

Katie on

While the age of the mother can influence the likelihood of a child with Down’s Syndrome, it’s a little-known face that in 50% of cases, the chromosomal abnormality is actually in the sperm. Since sperm cells divide more than egg cells, there is an increased chance of chromosomes not separating correctly.

So while many mothers feel guilty that they inflicted this on their children, in many cases it was not their cell which caused it.

Micalisha on

congratulations to our alaska governor…all babies are a blessing…me and my mom just had our babies this was the 8th child for my mom and she is in her 40’s…i admire woman who have many children…people can say all negative things but we just ignore them…being in a big family is alot of fun

Nailah on

I am glad that Gov. Palin and her husband are so welcoming of Trig. Like any birth he is a gift. There is nothing more miraculous than the birth of a child.

That said, I wonder if she really has any comprehension of just how much her life is going to change. This woman, who is fantastic, is not used to having her schedule actually CHANGE for the birth of a child. She is used to being back at work and resuming her duties less than a week after the birth. The changes may not be immediate, but they will come.

Children with Down Syndrome do require a bit extra. How much depends on the child. She may think it is simply doctors appointments that she will need to work her schedule around. It will be significantly mroe than that.

I applaud their optimism and acceptance of the challenges ahead. I just wonder if she will be so optimistic and accepting when things really get difficult.

Tom on

I remember when my wife’s OBGYN mentioned to us the testing for defects or whatever it was when she had my son John in the womb.

We both looked at each other confused and then the doctor explained. I damn near decked him on the spot for even remotely implying we might use a test to find out if John had defects and implying we would abort him. He could have come out looking like an iquana and I would not have cared. He’d get the same ridiculous amount of love and attention he always gets. 🙂

Hope McCain picks her for Veep. She’d just have many women gushing over her. What a great example to show others. As ambitious as she is, she also has a selfless streak too.

Janet on

Congratulations to the Palin family. Along with lots of love, Trig is getting the best nourishment possible. Sarah is breastfeeding her baby, which is another example of her ability and willingness to make good choices and do the right thing.

I would welcome Sarah as a Veep, but is it realistic at this point in time?

Cherokee on

Wow you are lucky in Alaska! Palin is my favorite elected official in the entire county. She has a great record, not the usual politico type. I think there is something special there but it is up to her where she wants to go with that. At this point, the sky is the limit. God bless you Madam Palin and yours.

anotherbigdayforsarah on

Great foresight, Tom. She’s been selected as McCain’s running mate! She’s gonna be a busy mom, but something tells me she’s used to that. 🙂

Say What on

Sara Palin is going to travel all over the country running for VP with a newborn?