She’s here! Nearly a week after she began experiencing labor symptoms, former DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa) welcomed daughter Jacqueline Grace on May 12. “Miss Jackie Grace safely arrived yesterday morning and we couldn’t be more in love,” Lilley wrote in an Instagram post announcing the arrival of her and second daughter — and fourth child — with husband Jason Wayne.
In an interview with People, Lilley (who also temporarily played GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Maxie for a year while Kirsten Storms was on medical leave back in late 2011) revealed that Baby Jackie was born at 1:12 a.m. and weighed in at 7 lbs., 10.1 oz. “Jackie means ‘God will protect her,’ Grace means ‘God will empower her,’” the actress explained of the meaning behind her newborn’s name. “This was a surprise pregnancy during new COVID variants and ramp-ups. I hadn’t taken any prenatal vitamins, I was under a lot of stress, and with my history of miscarriages, I had to trust that God would indeed protect and empower her through the pregnancy and that was absolutely true for the insane delivery!”
Lilley had been updating her followers on Instagram for over a week as her due date came and went, sharing her efforts to move the process along by getting labor-inducing massages and eating labor-inducing foods while experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. “I had no idea if I was really in labor,” the Hallmark Channel and GAC Family star admitted. “I had Jackie seven minutes after pulling up to the ER. If I hadn’t left when I did, I would have had her in the car, and I’m not sure she would have survived.”
Once she and Wayne arrived at the hospital, Lilley was surprised by the urgency she witnessed in her midwife and nurses. “I was thinking, ‘Why is everyone thinking this baby is coming right now?’” the GH and DAYS grad recalled. “The midwife said, ‘She has quite a bit of hair,’ and Jason and I were both stunned. I wasn’t sure if she was joking! But then I thought, that would be a strange thing to joke about, and realized, I was actually having the baby right now.”
Baby Jackie joins big brothers Kayden, 5, and Jeffrey, 3 (whom the Waynes adopted from foster care), and big sister Julie, almost 3. “Julie was planned, but this was definitely a surprise,” Lilley shared. “I’m so, so happy.”