Céline Dion takes PEOPLE all over her Jupiter Island, Fla., mansion for a collection of intimate photos with 6-week-old fraternal twins Eddy and Nelson in our new issue, on newsstands Friday. Lounging on the porch, in the pool, in the family bed – the twins, born Oct. 23, are getting more than comfy their new home, as Dion and husband René Angélil celebrate their expanded family after six difficult rounds of IVF.
The couple’s older son, René-Charles, 9, also seems thrilled with his new siblings, cradling them in a mound of red pillows in one photo.
In the story, Dion talks about the pregnancy, birth, life with the newborns and her plans for easing into rehearsals for her new Las Vegas show, which kicks off March 15.
“The love and what I feel inside, what we have accomplished – I don’t know how to put it into words,” Dion says. “It’s bigger than life itself.”
“They’re so cute, it’s incredible,” said Celine. “When we look at them we can’t believe it, and to have them here at home – it’s all we could wish for.”
The boys, who were born when Celine was 35 weeks pregnant, were in a neonatal intensive unit for several days, but they have all since returned to their home in Florida.
“They’re feeding every two hours now,” said Celine. “It’s going well. I don’t get a lot of sleep, yes, for sure I’m tired, but that’s what I want.”
Celine, 42, also spoke about the heartbreak of having originally being pregnant with triplets.
“For a week we thought we had triplets, but sadly on the next visit to the doctors we only heard two heartbeats,” she revealed.
“That little baby decided to leave the space for the two others and to say goodbye to us. It happened very early during the pregnancy. But still, it shocks you.”
Before this pregnancy, Celine and Rene had spent years trying for a sibling for their nine-year-old son Rene-Charles. Celine endured six rounds of IVF and suffered a miscarriage.
Rene says that the twins arrival was understandably emotional. “We were crying, he said. “Even though we didn’t speak to each other, we were both thinking about the time it took [to conceive them].”
The couple also spoke about the names they have chosen for their sons, Eddy and Nelson. “The idea is to have our sons be inspired by somebody that has the same name,” said Rene, 68, who also has three grown-up children from two previous marriages.
“We met with Nelson Mandela and spent some time with him at his house when we started Celine’s world tour,” he said. “Eddy is an homage to Eddy Marnay,” he said, referring to the French songwriter who wrote Celine’s first five albums, and had also written for Edith Piaf and Nana Mouskouri.
“He was like a father to me,” said Celine. “He passed away six years ago. He was such a gentle man, everybody loved him.”
At the end of the day, I still find Nelson and Eddy to be extremely dated and unfashionable names, but at least Celine’s kids don’t have everybody’s else’s name, you know? There are worst things than being named after Nelson Mandela, or someone your mom loved like a father. It’s all good – and I’m glad to see Celine looking so healthy too. Bless her.