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January 26, 2017 06:20 PM

Motherhood brings many surprises. For The Blacklist star Megan Boone, the biggest one came the moment daughter Caroline arrived.

“I thought when she was born I was going to look at her, recognize her and say, ‘Oh, hey, old friend. I know you,’ ” Boone tells PEOPLE while promoting her new, earth-friendly onesie line, Caroline Agnes.

“But meeting her was not the reaction that I expected. She was put on my chest and in my arms, and I fell instantly in love with this brand new person that I had never met.”

She further explains, “It’s just strange that in my head I would have this expectation that I would find her familiar, but really the familiarity is in the day to day, and getting to know her.”

Boone, 33, says she learns more and more about her daughter through “little moments” – like “seeing her laugh in her sleep for the first time” or “seeing her start to reach out to us and communicate with us in her own way.”

“There’s nothing like it in the world,” the actress says.

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Caroline is Boone and fiancé Dan Estabrook‘s first child together.

Becoming a parent while still filming her hit drama and working on Caroline Agnes has taught the star a lot about “time management,” she says.

“It’s been a juggling act, but fortunately I have a great partner – Dan works really hard for our family and is a great support system,” she says of artist Estabrook. “I just have great people all around me, and so I really rely on my family and my work family.”

That system has allowed Boone to be around for things like Caroline’s first adventure in pulling up. She dubs her daughter “resilient” when it comes to learning how to move on her own, and compares the little girl’s dedication to learning “like a concert musician.”

“She didn’t give up and the next day she was working at it more and more and more until she just did it, easily, within a couple days,” Boone says.

“And it was so inspiring to see what a hard worker she is already and how tenacious she is — how dogged she is when she sets her mind to something.”

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Caroline will celebrate her first birthday in April and Boone already has plans for the momentous occasion. Caroline’s grandparents will pen letters to the little girl about their lives, which will only be unsealed when she turns 18.

Boone’s organic, unisex onesies sell for $28 and are now available.

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