From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Sunday Rose Kidman Urban
6 lbs. 7.5 oz.

Any woman who has been pregnant in the dog days of summer—and in the South, no less—knows that by the nine-month mark, things can get very uncomfortable. And yet at the annual July 4 celebration at the Nashville home of singer Ronnie Dunn and his wife, Janine, a relaxed-looking Nicole Kidman—in a cotton dress and sandals, her hair casually curly—"really was glowing, almost effervescent," says a fellow guest. "She looked so beautiful." Her attentive husband, Keith Urban, meanwhile, "didn't leave her side," says the guest—except when it was time to set off the fireworks display, which Urban did along with Dunn and a half dozen other guys. At one point Kidman, 41, good-naturedly admitted that she was eager for an imminent delivery. Says Dunn: "Nicole told me Friday night that she hoped my fireworks would do it."

It would take another 2 1/2 days or so, but on the morning of July 7 at a Nashville hospital, Sunday Rose Kidman Urban finally entered the world with her own bang. "We feel immensely blessed and grateful to be given this beautiful baby girl," the couple said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. "She's an absolute delight." Urban, 40, was by his wife's side for every moment of the smooth delivery, which was not induced. Also in town to welcome the couple's first child: Kidman's sister Antonia, 38, and her mother, Janelle. "The birth of Nicole and Keith's daughter is such wonderful news and a beautiful addition to our family," Antonia tells PEOPLE. "We're all absolutely thrilled with the new arrival." Of course, Nicole had already discovered the joys of motherhood—she adopted Connor, 13, and Bella, 15, with ex-husband Tom Cruise (see box, page 66). Now Sunday—who Kidman's dad, Antony, said is named after Australian arts patron Sunday Reed—completes her life with Urban. "Nicole is euphoric," says a friend. "She's wanted this for so long."

As news of her baby's arrival began spreading through the couple's adopted hometown of Nashville, friends and family could hardly contain their joy. "I am so happy for Keith and Nicole—what a wonderful blessing," pal Carrie Underwood told PEOPLE. "As beautiful and talented as they both are, it will be great to watch their daughter grow up."

Others joined in sending their good wishes. "I couldn't be any happier, because I know how special this is to both of them," said Kenny Chesney, who hit the Nashville stage with Urban on July 5, where the expectant dad dedicated his hit "You're My Better Half" to his "very, very, very, very, very pregnant wife." (Kidman watched from backstage.) Added the couple's pal LeAnn Rimes, who also performed at the concert: "Nicole and Keith are two of the most kind, caring people I know."

Given their cozy domestic lifestyle in and around Nashville, the Aussie-bred couple—who celebrated their second wedding anniversary on June 25—appear primed to take on middle-of-the-night feedings, round-the-clock diaper changes and the brave new world of onesies (a word that baffled Urban during interviews last month). Since buying a 36-acre farm outside Nashville last year, the pair have become fixtures at the local Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and at the gym—where Kidman pedaled full tilt during her usual hour-long spinning class one day before giving birth; a few days earlier she—incredibly—pulled off a full back bend during a yoga class (see box, page 64).

When they're not sipping coffee or shopping for parenting books (Urban recently picked up Pocket Dad: Everyday Wisdom, Practical Tips and Fatherly Advice), the duo socialize with their many Nashville friends. "Nicole is really just a country girl at heart," says Rascal Flatts singer Gary LeVox. "We love having them in the neighborhood."

For Kidman especially, the birth of her new daughter is the realization of a long-held dream. During her 10-year marriage to Cruise, she suffered two failed pregnancies. This time, "when I first saw the baby on the ultrasound, I started crying," the Oscar winner told Vogue in July. "I didn't think I'd get to experience that in my lifetime."

Urban, too, has conquered his share of doubts. He met his wife at an L.A. event in January 2005 and fell head over heels. "It was just a divine coming together," he told PEOPLE last fall. "We both met each other at exactly the right time." They married in a fairy-tale Sydney wedding a year and a half later, but it was not all bliss: Just four months after the nuptials, Urban checked himself into rehab. The Grammy-winning singer said his wife's unwavering support was key to his recovery. "To see that kind of love in action ... just makes me want to be a better man," he told PEOPLE. Adds pal Tim McGraw: "They support each other—we've seen the support that she's given Keith through his hard time. And that's very important in a relationship and a family."

Now Urban has two leading ladies in his life to inspire him. "We want to thank everybody that has kept us in their thoughts and prayers," he wrote on his Web site after the baby's birth. Says songwriter Monty Powell, a close friend: "I know from my own experience that a daughter's laughter is the ultimate music to a father's ears."

Friends and fans are also eager to see which of her famous parents Sunday resembles most. "Keith's just about as pretty as she is!" jokes McGraw. Adds Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles: "I can't wait to see [Sunday's] beautiful Australian supermodel country outback little butt toddling around backstage."

Of course, Sunday Rose is already a hit with her parents. "I spent the day with Keith last weekend, and he said he really felt ready for fatherhood," says singer Richard Marx. "As a father of three, I know full well there's no such thing as 'ready.' But he's in such a great place right now, and I think he's going to be a great dad. I'm thrilled for both of them."

  • Contributors:
  • Shelley Akers/Nashville,
  • Kay West/Nashville,
  • Eileen Finan/Nashville,
  • Elizabeth Leonard/Los Angeles.