If Dancing With the Stars mirror balls were awarded based on how much the stars make viewers at home cry, Vanessa Lachey clinched the prize early on Monday night. For her "Most Memorable Year" rumba, she picked 2017, because of the birth of her third child, Phoenix Robert. That memorable event actually happened on December 24, 2016, when she had to undergo an emergency C-section 10 weeks before his due date.
"I was in the hospital on bed rest and then my water broke. I was only 29 weeks," Lachey said on DWTS, tears filling her eyes. "I was on the operating bed and I looked up and I didn’t know a single face and I remembered thinking, 'I hope the baby’s OK and don’t worry about me. Just make him OK.' "
As if that weren't enough to turn on the waterworks, husband (and fellow competitor on the show) Nick Lachey joined the segment, recalling how helpless he felt, as the show aired footage of tiny Phoenix in an incubator.
"I think as a man, you want to believe you can protect your kids, protect your wife," Nick said.
Vanessa and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed to Nick's song "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)," which she said got them through the tough times.
By the time Vanessa posted this first Instagram video of Phoenix, he was a healthy little guy who seemed to have his parents' knack for being charming on camera.
The rumba, which earned a score of 24 out of 30, was Cherkovskiy and Lachey's first number together since the pro took last week off due to "personal issues," sparking rumors the partners weren't getting along.
If that was the case, they seem to have smoothed everything out quite nicely since then.