EXCLUSIVE: MAFS’s Jules and Cam reveal baby news
Five years, seven seasons and sixty couples... of which more than 90 per cent have split. It seems Nine Network's reality TV dating show Married At First Sight, while hugely popular, doesn't exactly have the best retention rate.
But Jules Robinson and Cameron Merchant, who were matched together by the "experts" in 2019, have managed to buck the trend. Since leaving the series, Robinson and Merchant went on to marry last year - in a televised special, of course.
And now, determined to get on the front foot before the inevitable rumours begin again, they have approached Stellar to help announce some exciting news to the world - they are pregnant.
In this exclusive interview, the loved-up couple reveal how they found out they were expecting, as well as discuss how they deal with being in the public eye, what pregnancy cravings Robinson is having - and how they plan on living out their happily ever after.
Jules and Cam, you came to Stellar with some news to share: You're expecting a baby, and are 16 weeks along.
Jules: I honestly thought it was going to come with a fight. Because of my age [Jules is 37], I had done all the hormone testing, the egg count... so much is instilled that you're going to struggle because of your age.
So I had it in my head that it was going to be a problem, but on the flip side, I think my saving grace was because all my focus was on launching my Figur shapewear line, it wasn't the centre of my universe. I wasn't obsessing over it. And for that, I'm so grateful.
I did manifest for the whole of 2019 that I wanted to be pregnant. I had January in my mind and kept picturing myself pregnant in January, and that is when I found out.
How did you know? Was there a feeling?
Jules: I knew because I felt so sick. I went to make some food and I was so hungry. I was cutting it up and I just got waterfalls, and I was like, "Oh, I don't feel right." I did the test straight away and it was negative.
I was with Cam at the time and, for some reason, I just left it on the side of the bathroom bench. I could have thrown it in the bin, but I just thought, "No I'm going to hold on to that." I really don't know why I felt that. So I took a shower and when I got out it was positive.
Cam: We were so excited and just kept repeating to each other "two lines, two lines" [on the test]. It definitely didn't sink in straight away.
When they put us together on Married At First Sight, I knew. It was one of the questions they asked: "How long before you want to have a family?" I said, if we're together in two years' time that's when we'll have a family.
Jules: I shot the body positivity campaign for Figur that weekend, finding out 10 minutes before that I was pregnant. Only I would find out I'm pregnant on one of the biggest weekends of my life.
Of course, it didn't change the weekend, but there was a lot of champagne going around and cheers-ing, so I just had to go under the radar. It got to Sunday and I said to Cam, "I need to go to the doctor." Because I felt all the signs, I needed to know if this was really happening.
Once it was all confirmed, I bawled out of pure joy and happiness. To create a baby with the man you love, there is no greater gift, and Cam will be one incredible father.
As well as manifesting this baby, I spent a lot of [last] year working hard on my body to become strong, healthy and fit enough to carry a baby. Becoming an ambassador for WW [previously known as Weight Watchers], I have always been very clear that this was one of my goals - not just being a reformed yo-yo dieter.
Cam, did you get emotional at the realisation you're going to be a father?
Cam: I cried, for sure. I was emotional. It's a big step and I've never done this before.
Do you know the baby's gender?
Jules: No. We're going to have a surprise.
Cam: That's another five months of waiting to see if it's a boy or a girl. I don't know if I can handle that wait. In my mind, I'm thinking it's a boy.
Jules, have you had any cravings?
Jules: Honey on toast and Weet-Bix. I hadn't bought Weet-Bix in 20 years!
You're pregnant at a turbulent time in history, amid the coronavirus outbreak. How are you navigating that?
Jules: We have taken the coronavirus outbreak very seriously from the start. We've been watching the rest of the world and chose to begin isolation when social distancing was introduced, for numerous reasons.
Firstly, we wanted to do the right thing by society, and secondly, we're really not wanting to get sick at this special time in our life. From researching as much as we can on the information available regarding pregnancy and COVID-19, it's said you can't pass it on to your baby. Thank goodness.
We joke that we feel we're back in the experiment of MAFS again. Spending 24/7 with your partner is not natural for anyone, but we've done it once, so we can do it again.
You have to let go of control and come together with love, connection and positivity. I've had my moments, though; times of sadness, fear, despair and tears, fuelled by hormones. We're all in this together, though - it has to be OK.
You are making MAFS history in having a baby. Surely this will put to rest any pesky rumours about marriage issues?
Jules: This is probably my 12th child now. They've said we're having twins, that we're getting divorced, I'm an alcoholic. We've heard it all. We became public property on MAFS.
I feel a lot of people were really invested in our relationship. People still message me to this day and say we gave them hope that they will find their "one". That's so heartwarming and is why, obviously, we did our wedding on TV. People were invested in it, they wanted to see it. I guess that's what you get when you sign up to a reality show. But you take the good and the bad, and I think there's a lot more love than hate.
What keeps you strong as a couple?
Jules: Cam has been my rock. I'm very strong, but I'm also very vulnerable and there have been moments with the press where I have broken. I'm a sensitive woman. I've got feelings and sometimes it can wear you down and it hurts.
When people say something about your character, who you are and how you treat others like it's fact, without knowing the truth, it's awful. But you just have to let it go, remember who you are and realise it really doesn't matter.
When it's about my appearance, I couldn't care less. It's the comments about who you are as a person that hurt.
Arguably, your relationship has been supercharged since you first met, walking down the aisle...
Jules: What a way to get to know someone. Three months together, 24/7. It was a massive test and we made it.
Have you been watching the latest season of MAFS? If so, what do you think?
Jules: We both just hope someone finds love like we did. That's what this show is about, right? It's all about love.
Cam: Well, it's supposed to be about love. We will have our fingers crossed for them.
What do you recommend to people looking for love? Throw out the rule book?
Jules: I read that rule book. As Cam says, stop doing what you have always done. On dating apps, you have your radius.
My advice is, if you are into someone, radius doesn't mean a thing. You would travel. You would do everything. So open up your mind and actually look outside the box a little bit. And those people who aesthetically maybe you wouldn't be interested in?
At the end of the day, what lasts is love, values and how they treat you - not what someone looks like.
Cam: Realise that nothing is perfect all the time. You've just got to give back a little bit, accept what it is, have communication and work on your relationship.
You both seem fairly traditional. Do you take that into your relationship?
Jules: I was brought up in a traditional household where Mum was the mum and Dad was the dad. Cam lets me be me. I am very strong, but soft at the same time. We have our roles. It's [about] having that nice, solid balance where Cam lets me have my moments to do what I do and we give each other space to be each other.
Cam, what does the future look like, workwise? With the world as it is, can you still work in cricket coaching?
Cam: Cricket keeps me fit and healthy, and engaged with youngsters in the community [by] being a role model for them and helping them continue to become quality, confident men who can lead by example.
The big goal in my life in 2020 is to be even fitter and healthier - inside and out - and this is certainly going to help us bring a child into the world.
From speaking to my best mates and witnessing it, it takes a lot of energy and time, so I want to be the absolute healthiest I can be to make sure our child is looked after. I also want to do more work in the mental-health space with men.
Most people would say men don't really talk about their mental health as much as they should.
Cam: They don't, whether it be mental health or fatherhood. I feel sometimes we are stuck in the olden days where men feel they have to continue to be hard, strong blokes. Times have changed and I am glad.
A hard, strong man these days is someone who opens up and talks about what they are going through, how they are feeling and what they fear, so they can become stronger and more able to face life's challenges as best as they can.
Jules, what about you?
Jules: I've stepped back from being a hair and make-up stylist into my shapewear line, Figur. It has been such a huge 18 months, becoming the face of Olay Regenerist... it was an honour to be part of a heritage brand like that.
Accessibility is really important to me. It's the same ethos I put into Figur - it is for all women. I, of course, have big plans for Figur and am currently working on my maternity line as well as continuing to work with WW.
I feel like the healthiest version of me - and I would not be surprised if that helped me get pregnant.
Originally published as EXCLUSIVE: MAFS's Jules and Cam reveal baby news