Why Maksim Chmerkovskiy Cried Before 'DWTS' Return with Vanessa Lachey

In the pre-dance package, Vanessa shared that she required emergency surgery during the premature birth of son Phoenix Robert in December 2016, who was born 10 weeks early.

Vanessa Lachey may be competing against husband Nick Lachey on Dancing With the Stars, but last night's dance was dedicated in part to him. "I was only 29 weeks", Vanessa told pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy when explaining why 2017 was the most impactful year of her life. "Get here as quick as you can, '" her husband Nick Lachey added.

In an Instagram post, the 37-year-old instructor has set the record straight on his relationship with the former beauty queen. She was immediately taken into surgery to safely deliver the baby on Christmas Eve. "I never felt so helpless". Just make him okay, ' " she revealed just before her dance. Vanessa recounted her fear leading up to the procedure.

But the couple made it through the hard experience by supporting each other. "It was a lovely and magical night full of so much love", she wrote.

"We leaned on each other and got through it with great friends and family around us and in the end everything was perfectly fine, so I am thrilled to be able to tell that story tonight and I hope it inspires somebody else out there to kind of keep their head up", he explained. The pair performed an emotional rumba set for "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)" by Nick Lachey, which earned them a score of 24 out of 30 points. "This song got us through some really tough times and helped us bond even closer as a family", Vanessa said.

Wasn't it courageous of Nick and Vanessa to open up about their traumatic experience in order to give other NICU parents hope?

Vanessa Coleman