mariah230cover.jpg Mariah Carey graces the new cover of Life & Style, and the 42-year-old singer bares her baby bump -- and just about everything else!

“I was feeling very vulnerable about taking pictures at all right now, but then I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to document this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Mariah tells the mag. “My ultimate goal was to share this incredibly personal moment with my true fans.”

“The babies were kicking almost the entire time; it was unbelievable,” Mariah added. “Especially the girl — clearly she’s a diva in training! We didn’t start shooting until 1:30 a.m. because I was in the hospital from the night before until the day of the shoot with contractions five minutes apart!”

Mariah isn't due for another two weeks, but after contractions sent her to the hospital on March 27, she may be in the delivery room sooner than expected! Mariah quipped, “Now I have so much respect for mothers everywhere, especially those who’ve had difficult pregnancies or given birth to multiples. We need to have Mother’s Day once a week!”