Blessed with a "dream" pregnancy (although it wasn't so easy getting there), Celine Dion suffered only a single queasy moment prior to the cesarean delivery—prompted by a precariously positioned umbilical cord-of 6-lb. 8-oz. René-Charles on Jan. 25. "I started to get a strange flickering in my stomach," the French-Canadian singer told a reporter earlier this month. Concerned, she and husband René Angélil visited the doctor, "only to find," recalls Dion, that her baby "was suffering from a bad case of hiccups—which he still gets."

If the prospective parents overreacted a bit, they aren't apologizing. After all, Dion, 32, and Angélil, 59—married since 1994—had been holding their breath in anticipation for nearly nine months. With the debut of René Jr., as his delighted mother calls him, the couple can finally exhale. "His arrival is like a ray of sunshine," gushes Dion's sister Liette, 51. Declares Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, the Manhattan fertility expert who performed the pair's in vitro fertilization last May: "They can't get enough of the baby."

Nor can they give him enough. Bestowed with enough silver spoons to fill a banquet hall, petit René-Charles has been lavished with luxury—including a $410 cashmere ensemble—since his arrival at the palatial $10 million, 10-bedroom Tuscan-style mansion that Dion and Angélil share in Jupiter, Fla. (The couple also have a deluxe summer retreat near Montreal.) He hasn't been attention-deprived either: Dion's parents, Thérèse, 73, and Adhémar, 78, and her sister Linda, 41, the baby's godmother, have been lending a hand, as has Angélil's daughter from a previous marriage, Anne-Marie, 23. "Basically René-Charles has become the center of the universe," says Dr. Ronald Ackerman, the obstetrician who helped deliver him at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, Fla. What's more, adds Ackerman, "he's growing beautifully and prospering. He has a fantastic temperament."

He also "looks like a true Dion," reports the nursing mother (who says her sabbatical from performing will last at least another year). Yes, but does he sound like one? Only time will tell. But for now, "this baby will be sung to constantly, because Celine is always singing some tune or other," says Dion's brother Michel, 48. "She can't help it."

Michelle Tauber
Phil Hall, Lori Rozsa, Don Sider and Michael Cohen in Florida and Linda Miller in Montreal

  • Contributors:
  • Phil Hall,
  • Lori Rozsa,
  • Don Sider,
  • Michael Cohen,
  • Linda Miller.