Days of our Lives alum Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa Donovan) is thrilled to announce that she has given birth to her second daughter, Jackie Grace, who made her entrance to the world in dramatic fashion on May 12.
"We thought we'd let you know Miss Jackie Grace safely arrived yesterday morning and we couldn't be more in love," the actress posted about the feelings she and husband Jason Wayne have for their new arrival. "Y'all aren't going to believe this birth story!"
Lilley explained in an interview with People that the name Jackie means "God will protect her," and the name Grace means "God will empower her" -- and both were apt for the surprising and dramatic way Jackie Grace joined her five-year-old brother Kayden and three-year-old brother Jeffrey (whom Lilley and Wayne adopted from foster care in 2019 and 2020), as well as her three-year-old sister, Julie.
"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!" the actress shares. "I had no idea if I was really in labor. 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."
Lilley announced her pregnancy late last year, and while she joked that she and her family would need a bus after the arrival of their fourth child, she also admitted that her pregnancy was a bit of a shock.
"Julie was planned, but this was definitely a surprise," the actress shared at the time. "I don't know what it is with me, but I honestly will know like the day after conception; I'm very aware of my body... I felt very pregnant, and I thought, 'This is very weird.' I was excited, but also it was so strange... It took a long time to comprehend it!"
In fact, shortly after Jackie's birth, Lilley shared that she was still trying to comprehend her pregnancy right up until she was in the hospital!
"Up until the day of delivery, I was still processing this pregnancy. I had been wanting a baby again, but assumed and hoped it would be through #fostercare since that's my heart's constant burden," she explained on Instagram. "Don't misunderstand, Jason and I were so excited and thankful for our sweet baby, but to be transparent, it was a bit of a mental struggle for me to feel like I was denying another baby a home by being pregnant myself, and to be super vulnerable, it was hard for me to put a lot of my in front of camera career on hold to go through another year of pregnancy. And then I would judge myself for my attitude about it constantly because pregnancy is a gift and a miracle. So many women can't get pregnant or miscarry (I've miscarried twice, I know the heartache the accompanies such loss even years later) or have to go through IVF which is a truly sacrificial and selfless journey. IVF mommas are warriors!"
She continued, "I truly believe that every single child is a gift from the Lord... no matter the timing, but being pregnant was still a lot for me to process. Like I said, I was still processing it the night she finally arrived. Then not only did we get this most amazing baby, but my delivery and birth story was so redemptive, especially in this current season of our lives... We're on day 4 of knowing you outside of my womb and you've already brought so much joy and peace and light and love into our home."
Jen Lilley played the role of DAYS' Theresa from 2013 to 2016 and again for a few months in the early summer of 2018. She also briefly filled in for Kirsten Storms in the role of General Hospital's Maxie Jones from 2011 to 2012.
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