OUR BABY JOY
Three years after her cancer diagnosis, the actress and her husband are set to be parents
After a cancer diagnosis, actress Tessa James gets some great news.
All eyes were on Tessa James at the David Jones Spring/summer fashion show in Sydney on Aug. 9. It wasn’t just her bright-red Erdem gown lighting her up. Two days later, a spokesman for the actress confirmed that the billowing frock hid a baby bump—the first child for James and her husband, NRL player Nate Myles. The happy news comes two years after the former Home and Away star went into remission following her 2014 diagnosis of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Throughout their ordeal, the couple kept alive their dream of starting a family, as James told the Sunday Telegraph last year: “There are high stats of people my age having had treatment who have children, so I hope that is in the future for us.”
The 26-year-old, who is reportedly around five months pregnant, may have dropped a hint in an Aug. 9 Instagram post that drew a flood of congratulatory comments. “Bambini,” she captioned a photo taken at Sydney restaurant Bambini Trust (Bambini means babies in Italian). The news signals a joyful new beginning for James and Myles, 32. Now, “they are enjoying the moment and taking some time to themselves,” a representative for James tells WHO.
The actress endured her share of challenges before reaching this welcome next chapter. Prior to falling ill, her father, former AFL player Stephen James, was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma. Less than two years later, Melbourne-born James received her own diagnosis and went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy in six months. “I knew she was going to be back to 100 per cent, but when you’re watching them barely able to walk out of chemo, you think, ‘ Why can’t I do more,’ ” Myles told Daily Life in July 2016. “I got through it because I had to get through it,” added James, who spoke about having a panic attack during her nadir. “What was the other option? To sit and feel sorry for myself? I think I had to hit that low point, to be in so much pain and so upset and so traumatised, to then have that sense of empowerment again.”
Learning that she was in remission in 2015 was a “huge relief,” James told Fairfax Media. “It was exciting that I was able to start a new chapter of my life and move on.” Myles was by his wife’s side for every painful—and hopeful—moment of her ordeal. “He makes me feel like a better person, and strong, like I can do anything and be anybody I want,” added James, who in March took to the stage in Sydney to play a teenage rape victim in Blackrock, based on a 1989 real-life crime. “I really feel and know how much he loves me, especially now we have such a strong, unbreakable bond. We’ve been through so much for such a young couple.”
The pair met through friends in 2009 and exchanged vows in an under-the-radar wedding on Dec. 23, 2011. To honour their fifth anniversary last year, the couple, who are based on Sydney’s northern beaches (James also spends time in Los Angeles for auditions and coaching), shared throwback pics on social media—james, a pretty wedding-day memory, and Myles, a cheeky snap of James in her hospital gown, with the caption “Hope we make it to the 6th after this post. Love you.”
In 2015, James gave a candid interview to Sunday Night, revealing that with her cancer diagnosis, she and Myles were forced to choose between starting treatment and their baby plans. At that time, “If I ever was to go down that road of freezing my eggs, I would basically be doing a round of IVF, and it would be a month or bit longer, and that would have meant I wouldn’t have been able to get treated [straight away],” she explained.
Two years later, the outlook is sunny, with James in good health and a summer baby on the way. For the mother-to-be, who has said cancer made her view the passage of time in a new way, it’s a chapter she’s likely to savour. “I’m not so much in a rush anymore,” she told Daily Life last year. “I know what is meant to be for me will be.”
“We’re both from very family-oriented, loving families,” added Myles, of the possibility of having children. “We’re very excited to do that.”