CAR­RIE’S BABY JOY: “IT TOOK US A WHILE TO GET HERE”

The fu­ture’s never been brighter for Car­rie Un­der­wood as she preps for a new tour and baby boy No. 2

US Weekly - - INSIDE - BY MARISA LAUDADIO

Un­der­wood tells Us about her preg­nancy ups and downs.

Brad Pais­ley had a plan: pester Car­rie Un­der­wood un­til she snapped. As they took the stage on Nov. 14 to host the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Awards to­gether for the 11th straight year, Brad begged the preg­nant singer to re­veal the gen­der of her baby. “Se­ri­ously, Car­rie, gimme a lit­tle baby hint,” he de­manded be­fore pep­per­ing (make that ham­mer­ing!) her with the names of fa­mous male-fe­male duos. “Johnny or June? Keith or Ni­cole? Garth or

Tr­isha?” Then he threw her a curve­ball — “Way­lon or Wil­lie?” — and she fi­nally caved, con­fess­ing to the cheer­ing au­di­ence, “Wil­lie! It’s a Wil­lie!”

With her sec­ond son due in Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to Tay­lor Dye of tour opener Mad­die & Tae (“We’ve of­fered to babysit!” she tells Us), Car­rie says she’s never felt “so blessed.” In Septem­ber, she re­vealed she’d suf­fered three heart­break­ing mis­car­riages over the past two years. Now she’s over­whelmed with grat­i­tude that she and her hus­band, re­tired NHL star Mike Fisher, are hav­ing an­other child.

“It took us a while to get here…

I’m gonna cry again,” she told Us back­stage at the Nov. 14 awards show. “[I’m] just so thank­ful... to find out Isa­iah’s gonna have a baby brother. It was just great news. We’re ex­cited.”

This is a pretty re­mark­able time for the “Cry Pretty” singer. Right af­ter last year’s CMAs, she went into hid­ing af­ter a fall at her Nashville home left her with grue­some in­juries, in­clud­ing a bro­ken wrist and fa­cial lac­er­a­tions that re­quired around 50 stitches. Car­rie only re­cently ad­mit­ted that the su­tures left her phys­i­cally un­able to sing for a time — which would be trau­matic for any­one, but es­pe­cially for a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian. Then came an­other mis­car­riage in early 2018. But she pushed through, heal­ing phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally as she cowrote, recorded and, for the first time, co­pro­duced an al­bum, her sixth, which de­buted at No. 1 in Septem­ber.

On Nov. 14, she won the CMA Fe­male Vo­cal­ist of the Year award — for the fifth time. “I would be ly­ing if I said I didn’t want awards, be­cause I’m a com­pet­i­tive per­son, and I love these shows… For me, with all the ups and downs we’ve been through, plus mak­ing an al­bum on top of all of that, this one def­i­nitely means a lot,” Car­rie ad­mits. “I’m hon­ored to get to hold some pretty in­cred­i­ble ti­tles. Mom is def­i­nitely [also] one of them.”

Soon she’ll be a mom times two. Luck­ily, Car­rie says, she’s been feel­ing “good” in her third trimester. In fact, the most chal­leng­ing thing about the CMAs isn’t what you might ex­pect. Ac­cord­ing to Car­rie, co­host­ing, giv­ing an ac­cep­tance speech and even per­form­ing her new sin­gle, “Love Wins,” were a breeze com­pared to get­ting dressed in mul­ti­ple de­signer gowns and high heels “when you don’t rec­og­nize your own body,” she tells “And I feel kinda bad for re­turn­ing dresses

[to fash­ion de­sign­ers who loaned them] that aren’t ma­ter­nity dresses, all stretched out in the mid­dle!”

She joked that she was look­ing for­ward to go­ing home to put on her pj’s — and she can look for­ward to plenty more of that. With the hol­i­days and her due date fast ap­proach­ing, Car­rie, 35, will soon take a step back from pro­mot­ing her new mu­sic and in­stead spend time nest­ing with Mike, 38, and Isa­iah, 3, in the pala­tial home they’ve just built south of Nashville (see box) be­fore the new baby’s ar­rival. But ever the plan­ner, Car­rie ad­mits she won’t be able to dis­con­nect from work en­tirely — she’s got a 55-date tour kick­ing off

“I FEEL LIKE THIS [PREG­NANCY] IS JUST A LIT­TLE HARDER ON MY SOME BODY FOR BUT REA­SON… IT’S BEEN RE­ALLY GOOD.” CAR­RIE Isa­iah Will Be Such a Great Big Brother!

im­me­di­ately af­ter a brief ma­ter­nity leave. “There’s def­i­nitely a lot of tour work to be done,” she says. “Our first show date is the very be­gin­ning of May, so we’ll be re­hears­ing... all of April and plan­ning ba­si­cally from now un­til then. But it’s ex­cit­ing. It’s a blank slate… It’s so much fun.”

The se­cret to mak­ing it all work, Car­rie says, is bal­ance. “Bal­ance is what it’s all about, no mat­ter what your job is. Be­ing a mom, work­ing and di­vid­ing your time. It’s what we all have to do as moth­ers,” she told

Us at the CMT Artists of the Year cel­e­bra­tion in Nashville in Oc­to­ber. She’s al­ready lead­ing by ex­am­ple, in­spir­ing the younger coun­try mu­sic stars who hope to fol­low in her foot­steps per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. “I mean, she’s a le­gend!” says Kelsea Bal­lerini,

25. “I call her Queen Car­rie be­cause, in my brain, she’s on a pedestal.” And Mad­die

& Tae’s Madi­son Mar­low, 23, calls Car­rie a su­per­woman.

“It’s hard to be­lieve that she’s hu­man,” she tells Us. “She looks so per­fect!”

As she nav­i­gates the tran­si­tion from her tight-knit clan of three to a fam­ily of four, she has one eye firmly on the fu­ture. “I’m ex­cited that [Isa­iah and this baby] get to see their mom... on stage, and hope­fully I can be an in­spi­ra­tion to my chil­dren and to other work­ing moms out there,” she says, “be­cause we got this.”

In these fi­nal weeks of her preg­nancy, Car­rie wants to rel­ish ev­ery mo­ment with Isa­iah be­cause she knows “his world is about to get rocked,” she re­cently con­fessed. She her­self still isn’t sure what their new nor­mal will be as she and Mike go from one to two — “You’ll have to talk to me in a few months so I can re­ally tell you what it’s like!” she says — but she knows one thing for sure: “It’s gonna be a great year.”

Brad Pais­ley fa­mously spilled the beans about the gen­der of Car­rie’s first child at the 2014 CMAs. This time, Car­rie was inon the joke!

HELP HIS SIB CHAN­NEL HE’LLHIS IN­NER KATNISS …AND TEACH HIM HOW TO SHAVE

HE’LL GIVE HIM COOK­ING LESSONS HE CAN DRIVE HIMTO GO WHER­EVER HE NEEDS …AND SHOW HIM HOW TO WORK A REDCAR­PET …AND TEACH HIM HOW TO FISH! With re­port­ing by Heather Byrd, Shawn Carnes and Michelle Falls

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