Party of five!
Jen Lilley is a mom once more after giving birth to a baby girl named Julie Evangeline Wayne with husband Jason Wayne on Tuesday, July 30, at 7:10 a.m. local time, her rep confirms exclusively to PEOPLE.
Born after 22 hours of labor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, baby Julie weighed in at 6 lbs., 8 oz., and measured 19 inches in length.
Both mom and baby are doing “fantastic,” Lilly reveals to PEOPLE, calling her daughter “a super-happy and relaxed baby” and sharing that “aside from some swelling, I feel like myself.”
The Hallmark Channel star, 34, and Wayne are also parents to 2½-year-old son Kayden, whose adoption was finalized on June 10, and a 16-month-old son via foster care.
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The siblings’ first meeting was nothing short of “adorable,” Lilley says. “Kayden ran in asking where baby Julie was and looked for her everywhere but the bassinet … I brought Julie in the living room with her gifts for the boys. They were ecstatic. Kayden kept giggling and kissing her. He’s so excited.”
“Our foster son is only 16 months old but he said ‘baby’ and smiled, and he loves his new teddy bear and WubbaNub pacifier,” she continues. “Kayden kissed her again before bedtime and went into a cute little giggle fit.”
Lilley and Wayne were “shocked” after her water broke, conveniently, during a Monday-morning visit to her doctor. And the star was “relieved,” considering she “had been having prodromal labor and I was praying I would know when it was the main event.”
The then-mom-to-be “elected to avoid L.A. traffic” when her doctor gave her the option of going home or heading to the hospital, so she and her husband shared lunch at a nearby restaurant, took a walk in a park “and kept smiling at the anticipation of our daughter’s arrival.”
While Julie’s entrance into the world was a “peaceful and joyous” moment, the 22 hours of labor, Lilly admits to PEOPLE, “were exhausting and excruciating.”
“For some reason, I wasn’t dilating, and that, coupled with the double contractions, put Julie in distress. The medical team had to administer a drug to temporarily slow down my contractions, and I was given oxygen so Julie could recover,” she explains, recalling it was difficult “to maintain optimism.”
But with her biggest cheerleader — her husband — as well as her two best friends by her side, “acting as the world’s best doulas,” she says, Lilley pushed through, and tells PEOPLE she asked for an epidural in the last hour after being told by nurses that she would be in labor for “another six to 12 hours minimum.”
“At first, the epidural only worked on one side of my body, which was one of my biggest concerns going in, but by the grace of God, they were able to adjust it, and after 45 minutes, it finally kicked in,” she says. “Dr. Brock arrived and said, ‘You did it, kiddo! You were already 10 centimeters dilated and ready to go. It’s time to push!’ “
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“I was beyond relieved the epidural came just in time,” Lilley adds. “It gave me a few minutes to rally and center all of my energy, love and affection on my daughter, who was such a champion through the entire process.”
Lilley shared her pregnancy news exclusively with PEOPLE in March, saying that while she doesn’t “wish three under 3 on anyone,” she and her husband couldn’t have been more excited to welcome a baby girl into their unique family.
“I’m so relieved,” said the Days of Our Lives actress. “I absolutely love being a mom of boys, but there’s a couple of reasons we wanted a girl — one [being], we don’t have one.”
She added, “More importantly, the reason we wanted the girl is now my sons won’t have a bio-son to compare themselves to and I think that’s really, really important.”
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On June 10, the couple threw Kayden a “We Found Our Missing Piece”-themed bash to celebrate his official adoption, sharing exclusive photos from the special day held at the COOP in Los Angeles.
The event was chock-full of puzzle-themed decorations and balloons, plus games, a ball pit, a bounce house and even a colorful custom puzzle-piece-decorated cake by Drea’s Wonder Cakes.
Of the “long-awaited and monumental” adoption itself, Lilley admitted to PEOPLE she “almost lost it” during the moment when Kayden was legally named a member of their family.
“During the hearing, when the judge said Kayden was declared to be our legal ‘child, and is further said to be a member of the Wayne family with all the rights and responsibilities attached thereto,’ I almost lost it,” she recalled. “All I could manage was a little half giggle/half sob, saying, ‘Thank you.’ “
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