The sad truth is that, for a good number of women, the memory of pregnancy will be bittersweet. Miscarriages are normal, they’re more common than people probably believed for a long time (because no one talked about them), and they hurt, no matter at what stage they occur.

As more and more women are opening up about their pregnancy struggles, more women are finding comfort in the fact that they’re not alone – that there are hundreds of thousands of women all over the world who know exactly how they’re aching over babies that will never be born.

For a large portion of these women, successful pregnancies are also common. Wonderful news, though the pain of the lost ones never really leaves.

One of these women is singer/songwriter Carrie Underwood, who experienced three miscarriages on her journey to becoming a mother. Like many of us, she’s done her best to take lessons from her experiences, and to discover ways to find peace and comfort through a difficult experience.

Her sons are now 5 and 15 months, but between the two, heartache abounded, as she said during an interview with Women’s Health.

“For my body to not be doing something it was ‘supposed to do’ was a tough pill to swallow. It reminded me I’m not in control of everything.”

Like so many women who found themselves unexpectedly in her shoes, though, opening up about it changed everything.

“It’s not a dirty secret. It’s something many women go through.”

That said, it took Underwood some time to come to terms with the fact that she was feeling more than sad about her lack of ability to carry to term.

“I had always been afraid to feel angry,” she said in a 2018 interview. “Because we are so blessed. And my son, Isaiah, is the sweetest thing. And he’s the best thing in the world. And I’m like, ‘If we can never have any other kids, that’s okay, because he’s amazing.’ And I have this amazing life. Ike, really, what can I complain about? I can’t. I have an incredible husband, incredible friends, an incredible job, an incredible kid. Can I be mad? No.”

But she was mad, and eventually, she realized however she was feeling about her loss was fine.

“And I was like, ‘Why on earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? Like, what is this? Shut the door. Like, do something. Either shut the door or let me have a kid.'”

She did carry to term, with her second son being born healthy on January 21, 2019. The road was long, though, and the lessons she’s learned on the way to building her family of four will stay with her for a lifetime.

If you’re someone who has experienced a miscarriage, take heart from Carrie’s story – feel how you want, grieve as long as you want, keep going or don’t. It’s your body, your family, and you only have so much control over it, in the end.

Breathe easy, mamas. We’re all in this together.