Vanessa Lachey Breaks Down as She Reveals She Underwent an Emergency Surgery During Premature Birth of Son Phoenix

Vanessa Lachey attends 'Dancing with the Stars' season 25 at CBS Televison City on October 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)
Vanessa Lachey attends "Dancing with the Stars" Season 25 at CBS Television City on in L.A. on Oct. 9. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

When Vanessa Lachey welcomed her third child last year, her world and perspective on life changed forever.

On Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, the mother of three broke down in tears as she revealed on the reality dancing competition series’ Most Memorable Year episode that she underwent an emergency surgery when her son, Phoenix Robert, arrived 10 weeks early in December. (His due date was sometime in spring 2017.)

“I was in the hospital on bedrest and then my water broke. I was only 29 weeks,” Lachey, 36, explained to pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, with whom she performed an emotional rumba, about why 2017 was the most memorable and impactful year of her life.

“I’ll never forget. She called me in a panic: ‘They’re taking me in for an emergency surgery. Get here as quick as you can,’ ” recalled husband Nick Lachey.

“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 okay and don’t worry about me. Just make him okay,” a tearful Vanessa shared, who was awarded a 24/30 for the number, which she performed to a song sung by Nick. “This song got us through some really tough times and helped us bond even closer as a family.”

“I think as a man, you want to believe you can protect your kids, protect your wife,” said a tearful Nick, who could be seen crying after his wife wrapped the number. “I never felt so helpless.”

Days after welcoming Phoenix, 10 months, with Nick — who is also competing on the ABC show with pro partner and Chmerkovskiy’s wife, Peta Murgatroyd — in December, she took to Instagram to share the exciting news about their Christmas Eve baby.

“It’s a very Merry Christmas indeed!” Vanessa wrote on Instagram Dec. 26, captioning a photo of her new son’s little hand holding her fingers.

In celebration of Mother’s Day this past May, Lachey posted an Instagram reflecting on being a mommy — she also shares son Camden John, 5, and daughter Brooklyn Elisabeth, 2, with Nick — to her three children.

“I remember my first Mother’s Day with each of my babies! This one is extra special (for so many reasons)! Phoenix literally completes me… and US! It’s amazing how much more Love you find in your heart for your family as it grows. Let me be the first to tell you Mama’s who want more kids… it keeps getting BETTER! ??” she wrote.

“I Love You Camden John. I Love You Brooklyn Elisabeth. I Love You Phoenix Robert,” she continued. “And I’m so grateful for you @nicklachey (and of course I Love You, too!) Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mama’s out there! Your unconditional Love is magic! 💖💫💖.”

For his routine, Lachey recreated the couple’s first dance from their wedding.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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