September 16, 2016 11:15 AM

Leigh Castelli; Angela Weiss/WireImage

Two weeks after giving birth to Julia Mimi Bella, Lacey Chabert is opening up about how it felt to lay eyes on her first child.

“Meeting my daughter for the first time was the most special moment of my life,” the Mean Girls actress tells PEOPLE exclusively of her and husband Dave Nehdar‘s baby girl, who was born in Los Angeles on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 5:24 p.m., weighing 7 lbs., 3 oz.

Adds Chabert, 33, “They laid Julia on my chest in the delivery room and my heart completely melted. She was just so peaceful.”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Leigh Castelli

“She stared at me with the most loving look in her beautiful eyes as she studied my face,” the PEOPLE blogger recounts of their first meeting.

“I instantly fell deeply in love with her,” Chabert continues. “The pure joy of finally being able to see and kiss her sweet little face was a moment I’ll treasure forever. She truly is a blessing from God.”

Of Julia’s name, the Party of Five alum didn’t get it from her former castmate Neve Campbell‘s character on the show, contrary to some fans’ beliefs.

“We named her after my mom,” she explains. “My mother and I have always had a very close relationship, so I wanted to honor my mom by naming my daughter Julia as well.”

Jen Juneau with reporting by Anya Leon

You May Like

EDIT POST