“One Long Wait” By Chris Zito

Vince officially arrived five years ago yesterday at 8:26 in the morning. His mother, who had waited quite some time to meet him, had to wait until 7:30 that night to do just that.
Vince suffered from merconium aspiration at birth and had been rushed off to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and pumped with antibiotics. What’s merconium aspiration you ask? In layman’s terms the kid was born full of shit.  No need for a paternity test for this one. He’s mine alright.

The crazy usually doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Kimi and I had tried all the usual tricks (really just the one) to make a baby to no avail. After five years without a pregnancy we turned to the medical professionals. Trying to get pregnant is a terrific family project. Sure beats building bird houses together.

Unbeknownst to him, this guy’s shirt acts as a contraceptive.

We started fertility treatment and waited. And waited. She waited more than me. I had two grown kids and wanted more, but she was her family’s favorite “Auntie” with no kids of  her own. I tried to warn that since she had spent all those years buying nieces and nephews “auntie” type gifts our kid would probably receive a lifetime supply of drums and beeping trucks (which he has, by the way!).

Kimi’s gifts were so loud that her nephews gave themselves headaches!

Kimi’s pregnancy was more than normal. It was spectacular. She felt great. She looked great. She didn’t even complain when her feet swelled up. She actually didn’t know at the time. By then she had to make my word for the condition of her feet.  Labor began the morning of October 19, 2005 and went nowhere fast. Due to Kimi’s “advanced maternal age” (the official phrase the doctor used. Frankly I thought it was very brave of her. How many people have the guts to insult a woman in having contractions?) they decided early on to do a Cesarean and get Vince out of there pronto.

“I see the door straight ahead. Whoa, wait a minute! Skylight!”

The doctor delivered the baby, showed him to us, then swept him over to a table to get his Apgar Score.
About 10 seconds later another team of six people swooped in.
I went over with my camera and the obstetrician said, “get him away from here.”
A nurse with smiling eyes showing over her mask asked politely, “why don’t you wait over with your wife?” as she firmly led me back to my spot at Kimi’s head.
My wife looked up, all smiles. “How’s he doing?”
“Great! They’ll bring him over here any second.”
But they didn’t. The took him away.

We had no idea what was happening. The doctor came over and explained the whole merconium aspiration thing. Vince had actually swallowed some of his own waste while still in the womb and this could cause infection and blah, blah, blah…NICU for a cycle of antibiotics blah, blah…the pediatrician on call blah, blah.
I was only half listening. I was more interested in Kimi. She looked confused and scared and so disappointed. The doctor kept reassuring us and failing.

They admitted Kimi and told me that I could go in and see him very briefly but since his mother had just had surgery she would have to wait. He was the only full term baby in the NICU. He was nine pounds. He outweighed his roommate by just about nine pounds.

Vince could have easily taken any kid in the unit.

Finally that evening after his fever went down and the doctors were confident nothing was going to go wrong they let his mommy hold him. Honest to God, it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Yesterday he turned five and couldn’t be healthier. We’re so grateful to all those masked strangers for what they did for us. And as Kimi always says, he was worth the wait.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


6 Responses

  1. I am wiping tears away as I type…you guys are so special! i am so happy it worked out for all of you!!

  2. We were all so excited for Vince! Holy crap, I can’t believe he’s five… he should be turning 2 or maybe 3. But not FIVE!

  3. you are such a beautiful family!!! i love you guys!

  4. awww… the video is so sweet, it made me cry!

  5. wahhhhhh!!!!!! so much beauty!!!!

  6. …and thus the best little neighbor in Westborough was born! ❤

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