Katie Holmes lied on her back, her legs separated by stirrups, as the female obstetrician examined Katie’s dilated vagina, the headtop of the baby starting to show.
"Push," said the doctor.
Katie held her breath and struggled to move the baby. She then let out a big breath.
"How long? How long have I been doing this?" asked Katie with her eyes closed, struggling not to cry in front of Tom who was standing at her side.
"About two hours," said the doctor.
"I can't--" said Katie, catching herself.
"Let's try again," said Tom.
Katie took a deep breath and pushed again.
"OK, good, good, that's good Katie. Keep pushing, yes, yes," said the doctor.
Katie let out her breath with a noise that could only reasonably interpreted as pain.
"Is it coming? Did it move?" asked Katie.
"It popped back up again," said the doctor.
"No, no, please, I can't take this Tom," said Katie as she squeezed his hand.
"This is natural, Katie. This is what every mother goes through," said Tom.
The doctor glanced at Tom as he was lecturing Katie about motherhood.
"It's a right of passage that you must go through. You have to earn it," said Tom.
"I want drugs. I want the pain to go away," said Katie.
"Don't say that," said Tom.
"You want me to call for an epidural Katie?" asked the doctor.
"No. No, she doesn't," said Tom.
"Yes. I want the pain to stop. Now. I can't take it," said Katie.
"The pain will stop when the baby comes out. So push. Push now," said Tom with a volume that was mildly inappropriate.
Katie took a deep breath and pushed again. The doctor watched the baby's head reappear as Katie dilated. Katie pushed hard, and her face turned red with blotches from the increased blood pressure that built as she pushed. She then let out a scream with a burst of air.
"OK, I am going to call the anesthesiologist" said the doctor.
"No. No drugs for the mother of my child. No drugs. No drugs, Katie, right, tell the doctor," said Tom.
"Please Tom, please. This is too much," pleaded Katie.
"You will disappoint me if you do this," aid Tom.
"Mr. Cruise, it is sometimes medically necessary for a woman to have an epidural. Look at Katie's face. It is blotched from the pushing. I can induce labor and take away the pain," said the doctor.
"It is not medically necessary. That is bullshit. Katie can give birth without the drugs and your help, thank you," said Tom.
And so Katie pushed and pushed and pushed. And the doctor and Tom argued and argued and argued. And the baby kept appearing and disappearing, and appearing and disappearing, until five hours later when the baby finally emerged, popping out, covered with ooze and crying as soon as its lungs were cleared.
Katie was exhausted, almost unconscious, and could not muster the strength to remain awake to hold her baby. But Tom held the baby, his baby, as the doctor cleaned up Katie and gave her an IV of fluids. Tom objected to the IV, wanting to know what it was all about. The doctor explained that Katie was dehydrated and needed the fluids. Tom did not put up a fuss, distracted by his child, his flesh and blood, that he cradled in his arms as Katie remained unconscious from the ordeal, the beautiful ordeal of childbirth.