Initially Palin hid her last pregnancy from her family, she tells PEOPLE

By People Staff
Updated September 04, 2008 10:00 AM

Sarah Palin was delivered a shock when, at age 43 and 13 weeks pregnant, an amniocentesis indicated that the baby she was carrying had Down syndrome, PEOPLE reports in its latest cover story, about the freshly minted GOP vice-presidential candidate.

Devastated, Palin, a staunch opponent of abortion, kept the news to herself until husband Todd returned from a business trip three days later. “The good news is we have a boy,” she tearfully told him. “But we have a challenge.”

Initially Palin hid her pregnancy – and her pain – from both the public and her children, son Track and daughters Bristol, Willow and Piper.

“Not knowing in my own heart if I was going to be ready to embrace a child with special needs,” she says, “I couldn’t talk about it.”

Palin says, however, that her qualms were laid to rest “the minute [her son Trig] was born.”

She added, “It’s the way life’s supposed to be. Everyone has battles, but not everything has to fit into a mold of perfection.”

For the complete story on Sarah Palin – including how her family deals with baby Trig’s condition, and how they are embracing Bristol’s pregnancy – pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday