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Meghan Trainor says she's 'nervous' about going through childbirth again after a difficult C-section

Meghan Trainor gets real about motherhood, prepping for her second child and starring in a Super Bowl ad. (Photo: Getty)
Meghan Trainor gets real about motherhood, prepping for her second child and starring in a Super Bowl ad. (Photo: Getty Images)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life's parenting series on the joys and challenges of childrearing.

Meghan Trainor’s first experience with childbirth was a rocky one: Son Riley — who turns 2 on Feb. 8, just a few days before the pop star makes her Super Bowl ad debut for Pringles — was breech and had to be rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit after being delivered by a C-section that left his mom in a "dark place."

But the "Made You Look" singer is trying to stay in a positive mindset as she prepares to give birth for the second time this summer. Last week Trainor, who is married to Spy Kids actor Daryl Sabara, announced that she's pregnant again (and yes, she knows the sex and has a name picked out, but plans to "torture" fans by keeping that all private for now). This time around, she's hoping for a smoother journey, she tells Yahoo Life.

Trainor recounts a conversation she had with her OB/GYN about 10 weeks into her new pregnancy, and admits she's trying to wrap her head around making decisions like whether to have another C-section or try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) this time.

"[Riley] didn't come out awake, you know, so I asked her, 'Well that was like a fluke, right? It was very rare,'" Trainor says. "She was like, 'yeah, it probably won't happen if you do another C-section.' But, you know, birth is traumatic for everyone involved. So I am nervous I have to do that again, but I do want four kids, so I'm halfway there.

"I just know I've got to surrender," the Grammy winner adds. "That's my big word: surrender. Surrender for one day, and for a bunch of pain. But I'm going to be distracted with the love of my life, you know?"

Trainor is also using her experience to help other pregnant women who feel overwhelmed or simply in the dark when it comes to the nuts and bolts of parenthood. Her new book, Dear Future Mama: A TMI Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood From Your Bestie, will be released on April 25. As the first of her close friends to get married and start a family, the singer didn't feel like she had other moms to turn to as she carried a baby throughout the pandemic.

"I'm the only one that's married and wanting babies," she says. "So I was by myself in that pregnancy, and I felt so alone. I felt scared. I felt I couldn't go to mommy classes or any of that because of COVID. And I just did all the research I could online and still felt like I knew nothing and was not prepared."

But Trainor was "blessed" to have experts on hand to help, and Dear Future Mama will include their advice, from a dietitian discussing what foods are safe to eat in each trimester, to fitness tips from her personal trainer. The singer's doctor also dispenses health advice in each chapter.

"It's not just me being like, 'my boobs were crazy!'" Trainor laughs. "It's like, here's some actual advice from smart women that can help you out."

Last fall the 29-year-old opened up to Yahoo Life's It Figures about learning to love her body again after a difficult C-section and pregnancy weight gain.

"I never broke a bone or had surgery, so going from nothing to, like, covered in stretch marks and a big scar across them all was like, really?!" she says now. "And I was like grossed out with the idea that something came out of me through surgery and that I was awake; that was tough. And it was tough to feel sexy ever again for a long time. But I'm so loved by my husband — he's like, 'this is where my baby came out of' and I was like, 'I wish I looked at it like you do.' That all took a lot. My therapist said I had some PTSD from the birth itself."

Part of that painful birth experience included some nurses blaming Trainor's antidepressants for Riley's health issues, which she plans to document in her book. "A lot of nurses were like, 'well you were on antidepressants and that's why your kid didn't wake up,'" she says. "And there's no science that backs that up."

Reflecting on those difficulties, Trainor admits thinking, "Ugh, I don't want to do that again. That sucks, you know?" And while it hasn't put her off pregnancy, she's admits that she's aware of how her body might change again.

"This time around I'm actually smaller than when I got pregnant with Riley because I was working with these dietitians and my trainer," she says. "When you make a baby, I was like, oh, I want to live forever. I want to be as healthy as I could possibly be. I was like 30 pounds lighter in the beginning of this pregnancy, but I'm still like, oh, I'm gonna expand and I'm gonna do all that all over again. And do I get new stretch marks or do they just branch off with you? I'm thinking about that for sure."

Sabara helps her keep any negative self-talk in check.

"Anytime I talk negative out loud about myself, my husband's there to go, 'you're making life, this is the miracle,'" she says. "And I'm like, 'oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I forgot.' I really put myself in perspective. I have friends going through IVF and cannot get pregnant and I'm like [to myself], 'thank you, body.' That's what we say — 'thank you body for being able to do something so beautiful and making my dreams come true' — because not everyone gets to do this. So I will take all my scars and I will take all my insecurities."

As a mom, she's also mindful about not letting Riley — who is gearing up to be a big brother — pick up those criticisms in the years ahead.

"I had a mom that still talks terrible about herself and that's what I heard my whole life," Trainor says. "My dad ... he's that guy that is the most loving guy ever, but he'll tell you your insecurities because he thinks he's helping you and that then you'll change. And I'm like, hmm, that's just bullying, you know? So we had to teach him what that was. But yeah, I think about it a lot with my kid. He's barely talking so I'm not like worrying about it [yet] ... But already when he does try to copy me, I go, 'say I'm smart 'and he's like, 'I smart!' and I'm like, 'say I'm brave.' So I'm definitely gonna be an affirmations mom where we're gonna talk really great about ourselves."

Trainor has a lot of reasons to feel great these days. On Super Bowl Sunday, the pop star and her dog Roo will be making their Big Game debut in Pringle's "Best of Us" ad campaign. The spot sees Pringles fans —including Trainor, a barbecue flavor devotee — getting their arms stuck in the chip's famously long can. Trainor will also be using her TikTok to challenge fans to perform a #StuckInPringles dance set to her hit song "Made You Look." And while she and her family will be in Australia on Super Bowl Sunday this year, they're typically big on celebrating the football holiday.

"I'm in it for the commercials and the halftime show," she says. "But that's why I never thought that I'd actually be in a commercial for the big game. I couldn't believe it. And honestly it was really close to after I found out I was pregnant and Hillary Duff told me 'babies bring good luck.' And I was like, you know what? This baby brought me lots of luck. I'm going to be in the big game commercial. ... So it's all connected and I'm just beaming of joy in life right now. Everything's too good to be true."

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