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Jessie Cave can't believe how far her family has come.
One year ago this week, the Harry Potter star welcomed her third child, a baby boy named Abraham "Bam" Benjamin after what she described as a "slightly extreme" birth. Two months later, the actress' newborn was hospitalized with COVID-19 and released days later.
On Thursday, Oct. 21, Jessie, who played the lovelorn Lavender Brown in three of the Harry Potter films, marked her son's first birthday with a personal post that reflected on the family's unforgettable year.
"Happy birthday tiny Tennessee," she wrote on Instagram when sharing her son's nickname. "It's been lovely to share his first year with you all…this is an emotional post, sorry in advance."
"I hope I take nothing for granted as a mother," Jessie continued. "Their presence even in my darkest days has made me appreciate how wonderful life can be. This baby was born a year and a half after my little brother died. It felt important and primal and like, in being pregnant, I was asking the universe to make something good happen, however selfish that wish might have been." Jessie's brother Ben Haddon-Cave was killed in 2019 during a tragic accident while train surfing.
Despite some health scares, Bam has been able to spend quality time with his older siblings Donnie, 7 and Margot, 5.
"His birth story is something I still think about everyday, 365 days on. Contractions started less than one minute after a doctor took the pessary out (which broke my waters) and 45 minutes later he was out," she said. "Shortly after he was rushed upstairs, [my husband] Alfie Brown followed him, and I was suddenly alone in a room with my placenta."
"A kind midwife came in and encouraged me to try and squeeze colostrum into a test tube. I wanted to go straight to them, but because of Covid (I think) it was only one parent in at a time to see the baby, so we took it in turns visiting him," Jessie continued. "I really wish we had got to be in there together. I didn't hold Tenn—really hold him—until he was a few days old, and even then he was attached to wires and as they disentangled him carefully I kept crying ‘I can't, I can't' because I thought I'd break him and he'd smash into a million pieces."
But thanks to an incredible team of neonatal nurses, Bam was able to get healthier day by day and reunite with his mom.
"He was only in the unit for 5 or 6 whole days but those sleepless days and nights—running up and down the hospital stairs ferrying droplets of milk or funny little towels I had worn in my bra so he would recognize my scent—will be with me forever. He made it home," she said. "I now finally understand what people mean when they say stuff about blessings. He is a blessing. #NHS #neonatal."
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