Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child at 6:30 this morning at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, her spokeswoman said today.
The boy's name is Trig Paxson Van Palin. He's 6 pounds, 2 ounces.
"The governor's labor began while she was in Texas, and I do know that she got on a plane and landed in Anchorage late last night," said Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow.
Leighow said the governor and her son are healthy and resting comfortably today.
The baby wasn't due until May 18. "It was quite a surprise," Leighow said.
Palin and her husband, Todd, had been in Texas since Tuesday for a Republican Governors Association convention, Leighow said.
The Palin family issued a statement that read: "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives.
"We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed."
Asked what special challenges the family was referring to, Leighow said, "It's a family matter, and that information should come from the governor herself."
Like the rest of Alaskans, Leighow said, she learned the baby's name today.
She said she'll have to find out where "Trig" came from. As for "Paxson," Leighow said that Todd Palin -- a hard-core snowmachiner who has won multiple Iron Dog races -- said it related to the tiny Alaska community of Paxson north of Glennallen, a favorite destination of snowmachiners.
Both the parents "think it's a beautiful part of the state," Leighow said.
Earlier this year, Palin joked to a Daily News reporter that "we've always liked the middle name Van because, you know, growing up in the '80s, Van Palin would be a really cool name."
Palin was scheduled to sign a bill into law tomorrow at a Lions Club convention. That appearance has been canceled.
By KYLE HOPKINS