Gov. Sarah Palin discusses son Trig's Down syndrome diagnosis

05/03/2008 at 03:02 PM ET

Trigpalin_baby_ny112"You need to come to the office so we can talk about it." With those words, Alaska governor Sarah Palin knew that her fifth child would be somehow different from her previous four. Steeling herself, the 44-year-old asked to be told over the phone that day in December, when she was four months along. The diagnosis? Down syndrome.

I’ve never had problems with my other pregnancies, so I was shocked. It took a while to open up the book that the doctor gave me about children with Down syndrome, and a while to log on to the website and start reading facts about the situation.

[My husband Todd said,] we shouldn’t be asking ‘Why us?’ We should be saying ‘Well, why not us?’ We’ve both been very vocal about being pro life. We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential. I’m looking at him right now, and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?

Sarah and Todd Palin welcomed son Trig Paxson Van on April 18th. He is now two weeks old and joins siblings Track, 18, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, and Piper,7.

Source: Yahoo, Photo by Al Grillo for the AP.

Thanks to CBB reader Kelly.

FILED UNDER: Babies , News

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MissAllisonJenny on

They seem like a nice, down to Earth family. Best wishes to them. Her husband resembles an older version of Dale Earnhardt Jr : )

Diane on

All babies, regardless of birth defects, etc., are God’s gifts to us. He is a beautiful little boy. We never had any tests for our kids for Downs. If they have it, they have it, and if they don’t they don’t. They are our children, and we love them all unconditionally.

Charlotte on

I’m glad her husband thinks that way. My sister has Down syndrome and she’s lived a life almost exactly like the rest of us did (there’s 4 kids in my family). She went to public high school until her junior year, graduated from a school designed to teach academics and life skills, went to college, and now lives on her own. She moved out of my parents’ home before I even did! I wish this family the best.

Renee on

God Bless baby Trig.

Marci on

Diane,I believe she was tested because of her age. I live in Tennessee, and I know that here, women over 35 are tested because they are considered high risk pregnancies.

Kate on

They seem like a very strong family. I don’t think I’d be able to raise a Down Syndrome child. It’s a very difficult road, but I’m sure they’ll do great.

Kitty on

What a beautiful thing her husband said. Trig has been blessed with a wonderful family !

Christine on

I think its wise to have the optional tests. I did with both of my children, for the simple fact that the test came back positive for Down’s, my husband and I could educate ourselves about the condition before delivery. JMO

Mel on

It’s so complicated!
Good luck!

Plaidy on

Wow… what an amazing family..What they said about “Why not us” made my eyes teary… Sometimes the test don’t reveal anything abnormal..and you still have a child with disabilities.. My daughter is developmentally delayed.. She is truly a gift..

Andrea on

Their comments make me love them! I have a brother with Down’s and sure, it’s not easy but most kids aren’t easy! If you have kids thinking that it’s going to be easy, you’re in for a rude awakening! = )

angela on

even though i dont know who these people are; i do wish them the best of luck with their son. the baby is beautiful. on

I know here in Wisconsin testing is mandatory for women over 35 (or 40…now I can’t remember)…and it’s mandatory they provide the mother with the test results even if she doesn’t want them.

I am currently pregnant with our third child and in my early 30s. I’ve forgone the test all three times because there is nothing that can be done to assist the child before birth and I simply don’t need another thing to worry about…there’s so much my mind does already. Athough I can respect the poster saying they wanted to educate themselves…that commendable!

It’s important to remember that those tests are not 100% correct. I’ve had one friend’s test come back clean and her daughter was born with down syndrome and another come back with a positive down syndrome and she was born healthy.

All children are blessings and little miracles and just as they should be. I’m going to go and hug my little two now!

Pogue Mahone on

I read 96% of babies diagnosed prenatally to have Down’s are aborted.It’s nice to see someone from the other 4%. We have 11 kids and I have never had an amnio(I was 40 when I had my baby last year)I have always declined the test, with the risk of miscarriage, and I would never terminate even so.Whatever God chooses to give us, we keep! :)God bless the Palin family.

Becky on

Here in WA at least they test everyone for down’s. It’s a way to see your baby for the first time on the sonogram and have insurance pay for it too. 😉 I was 25 when I was pregnant and had the down’s test.

What an amazing family! God placed that little boy with an amazing family who will love him unconditionally!

madam pince on

I’m glad they have the strength to face this problem. In my family I’ve seen several marriages ruptured and extended families strained & resentful because of Downs children.

Michelle on

every family I have ever known, save one, have been brought closer by their child with DS. Statistics show that there is LESS divorce in families who have children with DS. Kinda cool!
My heartfelt congratulations to the Gov and her family. They are in for a wonderful, joyous ride. My daughter will be 10 soon, and her life is a very good and happy one. I never ever would have guessed just HOW blessed we would be to have her. So glad we do!

Ivey on

My mother is a retired teacher and I remember her always commenting on what a joy the ds children were, they were mainstreamed back then(maybe they still are?) That always stuck with me, considering how hard it is to be a teacher. I wish them the best with their journey.

Kat on

sometimes people want the tests, not because they would consider termination, but simply because they have the personality that says… if something happens, I want to be prepared for it… look at what she said she did right away… she started researching… planning.

And that’s how I would be wanting to do it, too…. I would want the tests so that, if something like that popped up, I would have the rest of my pregnancy to prepare myself for it and get all the info I could to better prepare my home, my other children, and just familiarize myself with what to expect.

That way, when baby is born, you can just enjoy the baby, not sit there wondering what is going on and what to expect.

Karina the Great on


Pam on

I am pro-choice if there is a problem. But I totally respect
pro-life . The way they see every unborn has a right for life. I also see in a different way. May be they would not want to live with disorders.
God bless her son and despite of the core value differences I will consider to vote for her if John McCain puts her on the ticket!

Sandy Lovell on

As a parent of newborn child with Down syndrome I’m shocked that the American public knows so little about Down syndrome. It seems that God has chosen a political person to help spread the word that these babies are a blessing and grow to be adults that can contribute to society wonderfully. Now that Palin is the Republicans pick for VP, perhaps we can rally behind them and help bring awareness for individuals with Down syndrome. Good luck to this family and this cute little boy, Trig. It seems clear that God does select special people for special babies. If you don’t know much about Down syndrome, please get involved. I’m learning that awareness, acceptance and advocacy are the keys.

Julie on

I was just reading about the Govener to learn more about her and I was really on the fence with who to vote for, not anymore. With her behind McCain we can’t lose! God Bless her and her family…