Baby Steps

updated 10/22/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/22/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT

JOSSELYN SYDNEY HESS BORN
Sept. 23, 2007
6 lbs. 12 oz.

Samantha Harris thought she had it all figured out. She would host the first week or two of Dancing with the Stars, teach substitute Drew Lachey the ropes, then go on maternity leave. That's when she learned that babies make their own agenda. Arriving two weeks ahead of her due date, "Josselyn told us who was boss," Harris says, laughing as she recalls texting Dancing's producers on the way to the hospital. "[She said] I'm No. 1 in your life and I'm going to tell you that right now."

After a "blissful, if that's possible" delivery (thanks to an epidural), the first-time mom, 33, is happily holed up in her Los Angeles home with her daughter. "She's just a little lovebug. It's so cute when you kiss her on the cheek and she turns in the direction of where you kiss her, then she smiles," Harris says. "I can't drink in enough of her." Thanks to husband Michael Hess, 37, a financial wholesaler, "I didn't change a diaper for five days. He wins the prize for husband of the year." Harris's mother, meanwhile, contributed Josselyn's first dancing outfits: "She sent two tutus for her—a purple one and an orange one with a fuchsia bow!"

Harris, who also works as a correspondent for E! News, says she misses Dancing. (Her cohost Tom Bergeron sent Josselyn a ballerina teddy bear.) She's in no hurry to fox-trot her way back to work, though she aims to return this season. "I don't want to rush myself physically," she says. "We're pretty much there for 12 hours on show days. I want to make sure I'm in the spirit of things." And she doesn't want to miss a moment with Josselyn. "I've been singing her 'Sunrise, Sunset,' which my dad used to sing to me. There's a line in it that says, 'Wasn't it yesterday when they were small,'" Harris says, tearing up. "I'm going to be singing this probably as long as I live."

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