"They were hard. And it sucked so much!"
When Carrie Underwood and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, welcomed their second child, Jacob, back in January we were thrilled for her, because the road to motherhood hasn't been easy for the country singer.
"I put a lot of stress on myself — I feel like a lot of moms do, a lot of women do," she recently told People. According to Underwood, "the best moments in my life are when I say, 'Hey, I can't control everything, and that's okay."
There are so many things we can't control, including pregnancy loss. In a candid interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Underwood revealed that her second pregnancy wasn't really her second pregnancy. In the two years prior, Underwood had been pregnant three other times. She suffered multiple miscarriages in a short period of time, and it was hard.
She poured herself into her work
"I'd kind of planned that 2017 was, you know, going to be the year that I work on new music, and I have a baby. We got pregnant early 2017, and didn't work out," she explains, adding that she got pregnant again in the spring of 2017 and again suffered a pregnancy loss. Another positive pregnancy test and another devastating loss followed in early 2018.
"So, at that point, it was just kind of like, 'Okay, like, what's the deal? What is all of this?'" Underwood recalls.
She says she poured herself into her work because she couldn't just sit around thinking about it.
"Literally right after finding out that I would lose a baby, I'd have a writing session," she explains. "I would literally have these horrible things going on in my life, and then have to go smile and, like, do some interviews or, like, do a photo shoot or something, you know? So it was just kind of, like, therapeutic, I guess."
It's okay to feel blessed and mad
Underwood says she recognizes that she has a pretty great life: "I have an incredible husband, incredible friends, an incredible job, an incredible kid."
And that's exactly why it was hard for her to allow herself to feel angry about the lost pregnancies. She feels so blessed in other parts of her life, but one night, when her husband Mike was away, the tears came while she was snuggling with her sleeping son, 3-year-old Isaiah.
"I don't know how I didn't wake him up, but I was just sobbing," Underwood recalled, noting that she prayed about the situation that night.
"That was like a Saturday – and the Monday I went to the doctor to, like, confirm, another miscarriage. And they told me everything was great!"
Underwood's story is one so many women can relate to. Miscarriages are really common, but they can feel so lonely because they're not talked about enough. It's okay to be angry is this happens to you, and it's okay to talk about it.
Underwood's experience is common
A recent review of scientific literature on the subject suggests miscarriage is the "the predominant outcome of fertilisation" and "a natural and inevitable part of human reproduction at all ages," ScienceAlert reports.
That research, written by evolutionary geneticist William Richard Rice of the University of California, follows other studies which suggest as many as 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
"It is not an abnormality," Rice told New Scientist. "It's the norm."
Those kind of stats may not be comforting to those going through the kind experience Underwood had, but it is helpful to know we're not alone.
By speaking out about her experience, Underwood is helping other women who are going through the same thing. She's letting others know that it's okay to be angry, it's okay to cry, and it's also okay to have hope.
"They were hard. And it sucked so much! But things are looking better," she says.
Welcoming Jacob Bryan Fisher
Finally, in January 2019, Underwood and Fisher welcomed baby Jacob to the family.
"Jacob Bryan Fisher entered the world in the wee hours of the morning on Monday," Underwood captioned several Instagram photos.
"[H]is mom, dad and big brother couldn't be happier for God to trust them with taking care of this little miracle! Our hearts are full, our eyes are tired and our lives are forever changed. Life is good..." she wrote.
"He's just this perfect little bundle of a smiley guy," she recently told People. Baby Jacob, big brother Isaiah and their dad have all joined Underwood on the bus for her Cry Pretty 360 arena tour. She decribes the chaos as "a big awesome mess," and explains that since she's busy prepping and performing, Fisher is on baby duty all the time, changing diapers and just being an amazing dad.
We are so happy for this family of four.
[A version of this story was originally published September 16, 2018. It has been updated.]