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In an interview airing Tuesday on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ricky Martin opens up about his decision to come out.

"I couldn't take it anymore, Oprah," he says of being in the closet. "I couldn't take it anymore. It was too painful. But I guess the most important thing is my children. You know, my children. When I was holding them in my arms, I was like, what am I gonna teach them - how to lie? Whoa, that is my blessing right there. And I said hold on a second. Before I decided to become a father, I already accepted who I was and I was happy with who I was. Then, when I was I was holding my children, I said, okay, it's time to tell the world."

The 38-year-old Martin -- father to 2-year-old twin sons, Valentino and Matteo, via a surrogate -- announced the news in an email last March. It read, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man."

Asked how he felt when he hit the "send" button, Martin tells Winfrey, "I felt numb. Numb."

Though he was scared, he says he also felt "relieved. But when I realized, okay, I just pressed send, whoo. And then I was alone. I was in my studio alone for a minute. My assistant walked in and I just started crying like a little baby. I started crying. And he [had to] hold me. He told me, please, he would grab me in the arms -- in my arms. He goes, let it go. Let it go. Finally you're free."

Fatherhood has changed everything, he says.

When he brought the babies home, Martin says he became "obsessed" with trying to do everything himself.

That lasted "seven weeks ..." he says. "Seven weeks [of] not sleeping. Seven weeks. And then I was alone. Two against one. It was, like, wait, wait."

He says he feels "incredible" respect for his own mother and mothers of the world.

"It's not easy," Martin says of parenthood. "And apparently it gets harder."