Portraits of Motherhood

updated 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 01:00AM

ELLE MACPHERSON AND FLYNN BUSSON

"The birth of my sons. The birth of new emotions...what a privilege. What a blessing," said model MacPherson, 39, who was eight months pregnant with Aurelius (born Feb. 4) when Flynn (Dad, Arpad "Arki" Busson, 40, is a French financier) kissed up to his future sibling in the family's London home. Flynn, now 5, "was fascinated" that day, McPherson remembers, but "by the pregnancy, not by the photo shoot. He hates having his photo taken."

QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN WITH HUSSEIN, IMAN AND SALMA

Raising her prince, age 8, and princesses, 6 and 2, with husband King Abdullah bin Al-Hussein, Queen Rania, 32, has found that children "keep us in check. Their suffering melts away our vanity.... Their dreams ensure that we never lose our drive to make ours a better world."

MELANIE GRIFFITH AND STELLA BANDERAS

Mother to Alexander, 17, and Dakota, 13, as well as Stella, 6 (her daughter with husband Antonio Banderas), Griffith, 45, told UNICEF: "Before I had children, my world revolved around me. Now I realize how my children saved me from a very selfish existence."

TEA LEONI AND MADELAINE DUCHOVNY

"Motherhood is the most blissful heartache," offered Leoni, 37 (photographed in Malibu in 2001). Madelaine, now 4, became a big sister last June when Kyd (named for 16th-century playwright Thomas Kyd—dad David Duchovny has a master's degree in English lit) joined the family.

MIA AND QUINCY FARROW

A mother of 13, Farrow, 58 (in Connecticut with her daughter, 9), has said, "When I had my first children [twins, in 1970], I didn't realize how those feelings would eclipse everything else. It's amazing how animal-like those feelings are."

TRUDIE STYLER, COCO AND GIACOMO SUMNER

Sting's wife posed with Coco, now 12, and Giacomo, 7, two of the couple's four children, at their home in Tuscany in August 2002. Styler, 49, said she takes her maternal inspiration from these words by Khalil Gibran: "Your children are not your children.... Though they are with you, yet they belong not to you....You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you."

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