After many gruelling rounds of IVF, singer Celine Dion has given birth to twins and declared herself “thrilled” at adding to her family.
The two boys, Nelson and Eddy, were born prematurely by Caesarean section in Florida on October 23.
The singer, 42, already had a nine-year-old son, Rene-Charles, with husband and manager Rene Angelil, but the couple has been trying to add to their family for many years.
She had been admitted to hospital earlier in the week so that the pregnancy could be monitored more closely by her doctors.
Her husband was there during the birth, and told reporters shortly after announcing the news: “I cut the cord, it was instant love. I would do anything for them. I love them so much.”
Celine has recently had six rounds of IVF, having frozen embryos inserted into her womb and miscarrying three times before this successful pregnancy, but the couple began IVF in 1999 to conceive their first child after Angelil’s treatment for throat cancer. Doctors say they were “extremely lucky” to become pregnant with Rene Charles on their first IVF try 10 years ago, leading Dion to refer to her eldest son as “our miracle baby”.
Celine has previously spoken openly about her experience of the procedures, and her struggles to administer the necessary daily hormone injections to her thighs – “I give the shots (of fertility drugs) to myself. My thighs are bruised and numb and full of lumps from the long needles that go deep into the muscle. I don’t want people saying, ‘Oh, poor Celine,’ but it does take a lot out of me.”
The recurrent miscarriages have also taken their toll, with the singer saying: “I feel like I’ve been pregnant more than a year. I never gave up. But I can tell you that it was physically and mentally exhausting.”
She has also been very aware of the potential risks to her as an older mother, saying: “We believed in trying one more time. If the doctor had told me that my body was too tired, I would have given up.”
The couple have talked about their worries waiting for news of whether a cycle of IVF has worked, with Angelil saying: “We go crazy waiting for the results. It’s like waiting for the lotto, but it’s bigger than that – imagine. It’s the biggest news you can get.”
As one of 13 children, Celine has always wanted a big family, and has found the successive disappointments tough to cope with. She said: “Sometimes I just suddenly burst into tears for no reason. Rene and I want this so much and we go crazy waiting for the results. As a girl who grew up with 13 siblings, I found it hard.”
Last August it was reported that Celine was pregnant, but it was confirmed in November 2009 that the pregnancy had resulted in a miscarriage.
She later said that she had not wanted to announce the miscarriage immediately, explaining: “They said that I was pregnant, and a couple of days after, we were not pregnant again.
“We didn’t want to feel like we were playing yo-yo – ‘I’m pregnant. I’m not pregnant.
I’m pregnant. I’m not pregnant.’ So we didn’t want to do this thing. But we did have a miscarriage.”
Since then, she has also talked about receiving the news that the cycle had failed, recalling: “Rene answered the phone and when I saw the tears running down his face, I knew it wasn’t the news we have been longing for. You do everything right and you’re careful and you rest and then… the disappointment hits you like a wave.
But I swear, I’ll keep trying until it works.”
On announcing the news this time round, Angelil declared: “We’re ecstatic. Celine is just hoping for a healthy pregnancy. She was hoping for one baby and the news that we are having two is a double blessing.”
Unsurprisingly, the couple were concerned about this pregnancy too, and looked forward to the regular medical check-ups.
“My doctor had to constantly reassure me,” Celine admitted. “Each week I had sonograms.
I heard their heartbeats.”
She relaxed as much as possible, reducing her heavy concert workload. “I do almost nothing,” she said. “If you tell me I have to stay in bed, I will stay in bed until the babies are born. To bring them into the world, there’s nothing more important than that.”
Thankfully, she now has her wish…