Nicole Williams’ modelling career has come a long way since she dreamt of making it big in New York and posing for Sports Illustrated — two things she crossed off her vision board.

The Canadian model, who is only the second model to pose for SI Swimsuit visibly pregnant, reflected on her emotional journey, telling ET Canada’s Morgan Hoffman how empowering her SI photos, captured by Yu Tsai, will one day be to her little girl, India Moon, whom she and her husband, Larry English, welcomed on January 13.

“It’s so emotional because I really came a long way. I’m Canadian. I was born in Newfoundland in this like really small town called Paradise. And I was there till I was 14,” Williams, 39, said, noting that she “wanted to have a career in modelling and TV [her] whole entire life.

READ MORE: Canadian Model Nicole Williams Reveals Pregnancy On Sports Illustrated Runway

“And it just wasn’t going to happen for me in Newfoundland. And so my mom just like picked us up and moved us to Toronto where there was a better life for us so I can get an agency and do all these things,” she explained. “And so, looking back at my life and how far I’ve come and how I struggled to get there, like moving to different cities, moving to New York by myself and now finally accomplishing one of my biggest goals in my career. I just want her to look at that and know that like at the moment that this happened for Mommy, you were in my belly.”

Williams, who just celebrated her first Mother’s Day, told Hoffman that her baby girl “felt all the joy and felt how happy” her mama was — a bond she will always cherish with her daughter.

“I showed the world that I was pregnant when I was like 14 weeks on site runway in Miami. So she’s been there with me every step, like since this first happened,” the model shared.

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To commemorate just how special it was to have her daughter in her belly while her dreams were coming true, Williams shared that she’s “definitely” going to frame her SI photos and create “a whole book” of the pics “with her in my belly.”

“It’s just going to be really special for her to look back on and be like, ‘Wow, Mommy, like you were 39 years old and pregnant and you got your dream’. And so I just want her to know that she can do the same thing,” Williams said.

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Most recently, Williams has been showcasing her post-pregnancy body in the campaign photos her new Nia Lynn x Sports Illustrated Swimsuit collaboration, which just came out.

Nicole Williams poses for her new Nia Lynn x Sports Illustrated Swimsuit collaboration.
Nicole Williams poses for her new Nia Lynn x Sports Illustrated Swimsuit collaboration. — Photo: Solmaz Saberi

The new collection consists of 12 swimsuits she designed, from string bikinis to one-pieces.

“I wanted all the suits to be named after places that Sports Illustrated shot their magazines,” says Williams.

“I wanted it to be a really small collection because the pieces are so strong and so amazing and they only come in like one or two colors. It’s just so beautiful. I’m just so excited about it. It was so fun designing it.”

You can check out the collection on Nia Lynn’s official site and on their Instagram page.