The New Nicole Kidman

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The Power of Love

When Nicole was 17, Janelle, a nursing instructor, battled breast cancer. The experience helped make Kidman vigilant about her own health. "My health is not for me," she says, "it's for my daughter." When she had a suspicious spot removed from her forehead recently, she insisted it be biopsied. "It wasn't anything," she says, "but it was important to do because skin cancer is on the rise." She meditates daily; her father, Anthony, a clinical psychologist, taught her how when she was a child. She swims and hikes. "When you have a child later in life, you have to stay strong," she says, flexing her biceps. "I want to be able to run around and do everything with her."

For advice on parenting -- and everything, really -- Kidman turns to her sister, who lives in Australia and has four children, ages 2 to 11. "I'm so close to her, like a twin," Kidman says. Antonia was in the room for Sunday's birth -- along with Janelle, a doula, and a female doctor ("all these women, and Keith," Kidman says, cackling). She and Antonia saw each other through their divorces, Kidman's in 2001, Antonia's last year. In both instances one sister immediately hopped on a plane and stayed with the other. "A lot of it was literally holding each other and listening," Kidman says. "Our motto is, 'Just get in there. Don't retreat. Stay in it.'"

Kidman brings that same energy to her marriage, which was tested early on when Urban entered rehab for alcohol addiction shortly after their wedding. "Keith and I have a very honest, profound marriage, which we both contribute to every day," she says. "We have a phrase, 'Does this contribute to the good of our union?' Because that's what's most important." She smiles. "I love being in love. I believe in the power of love, the way it can heal. The more you keep choosing it -- because there are times when you can choose to be angry at the person or to love him -- the more it nourishes a family."

As if on cue, there's a knock at the door. "Here he is!" Kidman trills. Urban, shaggily handsome, has come to pick her up. A hotel security guard escorts her and Urban down in the elevator, waving away people who try to board on other floors. The lobby is jumping with teenagers on a church retreat. As Kidman and Urban pass through, the kids fall silent, but the second the doors close they erupt, craning their necks to see them go -- the famous singer and the very happy mom.

Continued on page 4:  Nicole's Scrapbook


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