Brangelina baby watch continues

  • Angelina Jolie has checked into a hospital in the south of France where she is expected to give birth to her twins.

    Angelina Jolie has checked into a hospital in the south of France where she is expected to give birth to her twins. Associated Press file

  • Brad Pitt arrives at the Lenval Hospital in Nice, southern France, carrying his children Zahara, right, and Shiloh.

    Brad Pitt arrives at the Lenval Hospital in Nice, southern France, carrying his children Zahara, right, and Shiloh. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 7/2/2008 1:54 PM

NICE, France -- Are the Brangelina twins boys or girls? Will they be delivered naturally or by Caesarean?

Angelina Jolie's obstetrician declined to answer several burning questions about the highly anticipated birth to Hollywood's hottest couple, but he did make one thing clear during a brief 5-minute news conference Wednesday: "She is a patient like any other. And she's very simple. I have a lot of respect for her."

 

The doctor also put at ease any worries that Jolie's recent arrival at the seaside hospital in Nice, France, signaled problems with the pregnancy.

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"Mrs. Angelina Jolie and her husband, Mr. Brad Pitt, told me to tell you that she is doing absolutely fine," said Dr. Michel Sussmann, apparently unaware that the stars are not married.

"The hospitalization on June 29 was scheduled for a long time. This is not an emergency situation," he said. "Her hospitalization at this stage in her pregnancy is totally normal for a patient who had a Caesarean (section) during her first pregnancy."

Her stay could be a relatively long one. The doctor said she would remain in the hospital until the babies are delivered and that could be "in the weeks to come."

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"I can't give you a date," he said.

French medical secrecy laws are very strict. While Sussmann said that the couple had given him the OK to give out a few details about the pregnancy, he did not disclose either the due date or exactly how far along Jolie's pregnancy is.

Though the lenses of the world's paparazzi have been trained on maternity wards across the French Riviera in recent weeks, Jolie managed to slip unobserved Sunday into the seafront Lenval hospital, reportedly arriving by helicopter on the hospital's rooftop helipad.

Pitt has been seen coming and going since Jolie's hospitalization became public. On Wednesday afternoon, he entered a side door with the couple's two daughters in tow, 3-year-old Zahara and 2-year-old Shiloh.

Attention focused on southern France after the couple and their four children -- including 6-year-old Maddox and 4-year-old Pax -- took up residence in Correns, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Nice. The town's mayor confirmed that the couple had moved into the Miraval Estate villa, and a helicopter has been spotted taking off and landing there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Set among palm trees, the boxy white Lenval hospital with mirrored blue windows looks out over the sea. During her stay, Jolie can enjoy views of the city's famed Promenade Anglais, sunbathers reclining on the rocky shores and swimmers dipping into the Mediterranean.

Sussmann said four rooms had been reserved for the couple and a pair of security guards -- debunking rumors that they had taken over the entire fifth floor.

"I find it legitimate that she wants to protect her privacy. She is a pregnant woman," he said.

The hospital is doing the utmost to protect the privacy of the couple -- who for the birth of their first child went to the African country of Namibia to evade attention.

The media briefing to a gaggle of journalists jostling for position was held across the street from the hospital. And as of Tuesday, a sign hangs on the visitor's desk inside the lobby: "Journalists are forbidden to enter the premises, except with the authorization of the administration."

The hospital's Santa Maria maternity clinic delivers 2,300 babies a year.

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