March 03, 2003 12:00 PM

As an ABC News correspondent and weekend anchor, Elizabeth Vargas is used to meeting deadlines. But the expectant mom’s first child was in no hurry to cooperate. Nearly two weeks after her due date, doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital induced labor, then opted for an emergency cesarean section before 7-lb. 13-oz. Zachary Rafael finally arrived on Jan. 31. “I think he knew what was going on in the world,” says Vargas, “and decided it was safer inside.”

Looking back, she says, “I feel really blessed. I’m 40. My husband [’Walking in Memphis’ singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, 43, whom she married last July] and I were trying to get pregnant for a few months before we succeeded.” Cohn, who has two kids from a previous marriage, shares what he calls his wife’s “wide-eyed wonder” at Zack as the three nest in their New York City apartment. Only one thing might curtail their bliss. “I’m praying we don’t go to war with Iraq,” says Vargas, who is on a 12-week maternity leave. “If we do, I may have to go back to work earlier.”

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