Reese Witherspoon has given birth three times -- most recently in September, when she and husband Jim Toth welcomed baby boy Tennessee James -- but she's as awestruck by the miracle of life now as she was 12 years ago, when she became a first-time mom to daughter Ava. (The Devil's Knot star also has an 8-year-old son, Deacon, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.)
PHOTOS: Reese's happy family
On Friday, Dec. 7, the Oscar-winning actress, 36, spoke at the March of Dimes Celebrates Babies event in Beverly Hills, where pal Elizabeth Banks presented her with the Grace Kelly Award. The award recognizes role-model celebrity parents, like Witherspoon, who exemplify the March of Dimes commitment to healthy babies and families.
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Accepting the honor, the blonde beauty opened up about her experience with motherhood and what it was like to hold her children in her arms for the first time. She told a story about a friend who called her en route to giving birth, wanting to know what to expect at the hospital.
"She wanted to know how she was going to feel in that moment and what it would be like when you meet your baby for the very first time," the mom-of-three recalled. "And I was talking to Jim, my husband, and I said, 'Can you imagine describing that moment of pure joy that happens when your child is in your arms for the very first time.' I mean, what are the words?!"
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"We are parents that know the joy of having a beautiful, brilliant, joyful, perfect baby," Witherspoon continued. "That somehow heaven has opened up and delivered us an angel [who] looks adorable in every angle of an iPhone photo. And, in my case, looks gorgeous printed on a bag or a pillow or an iPhone cover -- anything you can get on TinyPrints!"