Nicole Williams English Featured as Only Pregnant Model in 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Issue: 'Surreal'

The model shot her rookie Sports Illustrated season while pregnant with daughter India Moon

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated  Nicole Williams English poses with daughter India Moon
Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated Nicole Williams English poses with daughter India Moon

Nicole Williams English's first Sports Illustrated season was one she'll never forget.

When the WAGS LA star, 34, got the call that she was going to be a 2023 Rookie for the swimwear issue, she was pregnant with her now daughter India Moon, 4 months old. "Shooting on the beaches of Dominica while 8 months pregnant felt surreal," Williams English exclusively tells PEOPLE.

"I've wanted to be a Sports Illustrated Rookie my entire career, so when I received the call that I was the first Rookie of 2023 and they also wanted to shoot me pregnant was the ultimate dream come true," she adds. "I cried a lot!"

"When India gets older, I'm going to tell her all about [the experience] and show her all the photos. I believe the universe aligned it perfectly to make mommy's lifelong dream happen right when she was in my belly. So it was extra special," she continues.

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Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated  Nicole Williams English poses for her first 'Sports Illustrated' season
Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated Nicole Williams English poses for her first 'Sports Illustrated' season

Related:Nicole Williams English and Husband Larry English Welcome First Baby: 'Over the Moon in Love'

Alongside her pregnancy photos, the model was also given the opportunity to shoot with her newborn daughter for the magazine after she arrived in January. "When India was 6 weeks old, she posed with me for this issue," says Williams English. "Not only am I pregnant in the magazine, but you also get to see India make her debut!"

In addition to her photoshoot, Williams English teamed up with Sports Illustrated for a new collection of swimwear with her brand NIA LYNN. "I designed 12 suits and also made a limited edition Sports Illustrated Logo Suit that comes in three metallic suits," she shares.

"I'm so proud of this collection because it is so sentimental to me. To be able to combine my brand with SI at the same time my career goals are unfolding is so exciting!"

Williams English shares her daughter with her former NFL player husband Larry English, 36. In January, the pair welcomed their daughter with an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

"Our sweet baby girl is here and we are over the moon in love!!!" Williams English said at the time. "We went in for our routine fetal monitoring appointment and it turned out that I was developing preeclampsia. My doctor said, 'we are having this baby, like, TODAY."

"India Moon is surrounded by so much unconditional love," she added. "Thank you to all the nurses and doctors and my amazing husband, that were on this journey with me. I'm so excited about this next chapter."

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