Mariah Bares Belly for Life & Style Cover

Says she wanted to document "once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Posted: 04/10/2011 02:30 PM EDT

Looks like Nick Cannon was right: the world was treated to photos of the pop diva in motherly glow...and not much else. The latest Life & Style cover features a belly-baring Mariah Carey with a cascade of curls strategically covering up her other lady bumps.

"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," Carey tells Life & Style. "My ultimate goal was to share this incredibly personal moment with my true fans."

And apparently the little ones were just as excited about their photo op. "The babies were kicking almost the entire time; it was unbelievable," she says. "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!"

The twins aren't due for a few more weeks, but they could very well make their debut earlier than anticipated.

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