November 07, 2010 02:00 PM

Marion Curtis/Startraks

Nausea is familiar territory for nearly all expectant moms, but for Mariah Carey it’s more than just a nuisance.

“Throwing up is bad for your voice,” the Grammy Award-winning songstress, 41, notes in an interview with USA Today. “The reflux is terrible, so I’ve been trying to just keep calm, get through it.”

With husband Nick Cannon by her side, Carey got through her very public pregnancy announcement —  but she says delivering the news was harder than it looked.

“I can’t remember the last time I was that nervous before an interview,” she confesses. “I never get that way.”

With a burgeoning bump and a new album to promote, however, the couple knew that the time had come to share their joy with the world. “It was like, ‘How do we keep not saying anything?'” she recalls. “You can only keep a secret for so long.”

A miscarriage suffered two years beforehand was still fresh in their minds, and Carey admits she and Cannon “were careful to not just go off and call everybody the first time we took a pregnancy test.”

Their union survived despite the heartbreak, however, and Carey says she would not have pursued motherhood a second time — or at all — were it not for her husband.

“I would have never done this if I wasn’t in a strong, grounded relationship. I know you can do it by yourself. I’ve seen that, and it’s fine if it works for you,” she explains. “But I want my child to experience having a mother and father who live together and love each other, to feel secure in that.”

For now, Carey is looking forward to promoting her second holiday album — the aptly titled Merry Christmas II You — and a joyful holiday season.

“This year will be exceptionally meaningful,” she reveals. “I’m just so grateful for everything.”

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