By Deena J. Cross (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Lois is having a baby — and finds that it's hard to schedule childbirth around breaking stories.
Scene: Lois and Clark's home Lois and Clark walk in together. Lois is VERY pregnant.
C: (sternly) Lois, NO. Perry said no, your doctor said no, and I'm saying no.
L: (furious, with fire coming from her eyes) Don't you dare tell me what I can and cannot do, Clark Kent! If I want to follow up on the city council story, I'm going to do it! It was my story from the start and I am going to finish it.
C: Lois…PLEASE! You were supposed to be on maternity leave two weeks ago and off your feet! Perry was putty in your hands on that and let you keep working because you asked him to be godfather, but you have to stop or you're going to hurt yourself… and the baby.
L: (calming down a bit) You worry too much, Clark. The baby's fine. So it didn't come on the EXACT date it was supposed to…he/she must have known that the city council scandal was going to break and decided to wait until I could cover the story. Therefore if the baby knew to wait because the scandal was breaking, then the baby knows to wait until I can get the follow-up done. (She grins) It will come when I'm ready for it to come! (Looking down at her protuberant belly) Isn't that right, little one? You're so smart and soooooo considerate of Mommy's wishes. Daddy, on the other hand…
C: (muttering) What can I do? How can anyone respond to that kind of logic? (He walks over to Lois) Why don't you at least sit down and have a glass of milk while I fix dinner?
L: (lowering herself slowly into a straight-backed chair at the kitchen table) Okay, as long as it's CHOCOLATE milk. (watching Clark rummage in the fridge) You know, we really need to decide on those names. Which ones do you like? And you know what? I forgot to mail those thank-you cards for the shower the women at the Planet threw for me. I'll bet I can make it (struggling to get up from the chair) to the post office by the time OOOMPH! (she sits back down fast with a confused, slightly pained look on her face)
C: (rushing to her side) Lois! Are you okay?!? It's the baby! Omigod, it's the baby! It's time! It's time! Where are your things? I forgot which bag we packed! (running toward the bedroom and shouting from there) Where is the bag, Lois? Where is the bag? We've got to have the bag!
L: (trying to cut in) Cla..
C: (still frantic) The KEYS! I gotta have the keys! No, I'll just fly you there. No, can't do that— too obvious. The keys, WHERE ARE THE KEYS!?!
L: (cutting in finally) CLARK- SHUT UP!
C: (Clark looks at her with great concern, gets on his knee at her side) Oh gosh, honey, I'm so sorry. How are you? Are you in pain? Has your water broken? How far apart are your contractions? Should I call an ambulance? That's it!…call an ambulance— then I don't have to find the keys!
L: (placing her hand on Clark's shoulder as he tries to get up for the phone) Clark— HUSH! It was nothing. Well, it was something, but I don't think it was a contraction— it was too short. Besides, even if it was a contraction— which it wasn't because the baby isn't coming until AFTER I finish my story— I have plenty of time until I need to go to the hospital. We'll just sit here and eat dinner, watch a movie, and go to the hospital in the morning after a good night's rest. I'll have the baby about noon, after 3 hours of labor, and we will come home the next day. I've got this planned out, Clark, okay? That is, IF I were having the baby now, which I'm not. So stop worrying and start cooking!
C: (looking incredulous and slightly dazed after more Lois-logic) I don't know, Lois. The Lamaze instructor said it would happen this way— the contractions and all…
L: Yes, Clark, contractions— plural. I've had one…pain—one. One pain does not equal childbirth. I know what I'm talking about here.
C: You always do, don't you? Okay, okay…if you're sure it's nothing, then it's nothing.
L: (looking up at him sweetly) Now, about those names…
C: (fixing a glass of chocolate milk and talking at the same time) I still like Jonathan Lane Kent and Lara Elaina Kent, or Samantha Elaine and Samuel Jerome, or Elizabeth Lane…Jonathan Thomas…Elaina Elizabeth…Jonathan Perry…
L: You've really narrowed it down, haven't you?
C: (placing the glass in front of Lois and going back to the kitchen) Hey, I don't recall you saying you had narrowed it down any either!
L: I know, I like them all! Why don't we just draw a name out of a hat?
C: Draw a name out of a hat?!!? Lois, can you imagine the scars the poor child will suffer knowing his or her name was drawn out of a HAT?
L: (smiling wickedly) Hats, hmmmmmmm… Fedora Lane Kent…Jonathan Beret Kent…
C: (grinning widely and joining in) STETSON KENT! Now there's a name!!!
L: (laughing out loud) Stetson Kent… I can just imagine the look on Martha's face when we introduce her to her first grandson, Stetson..! Or granddaughter— DERBY KENT!
C: (almost doubled over in laughter) Derby Kent! How about Deerstalker? Beanie?
L: Stop it, Clark— I can't stop laughing! (She looks pained) Owwwwwwww! That hurts!!!
C: Here's something even worse—Fez Kent!!!
L: (very seriously) Clark, I'm serious, that hurt a lot, like nothing I've felt before. I think it's time…
C: (still joking) Time? Hey, that could be fun— Seiko Kent!
L: Clark, Shut UP!! IT'S TIME!!!!!
C: (finally clueing in) Time?
L: This is serious, Clark… that was definitely a contraction— we've got to get to the hospital, NOW!!!
C: (taking charge of the situation this time around) Lois, honey, just breathe. We've got time— just get relaxed. Remember the Lamaze— breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…breathe out…
L: (gritting her teeth) CLARK! For God's sake I'm having a BABY— don't tell me how to BREATHE! I've been doing it all my life and I think I've gotten it down pretty good! Get my bag. Where is the bag, Clark? Which one did we pack? Where is it? We've got to have the bag! (struggling to get up) Get the keys— I'll drive…no, you drive…no, you can fly me there faster…no, driving is better…get the keys, Clark! Where are the keys? And call your parents! And Perry! You've got to call Perry, Clark!
C: Lois…(putting his arm around her shoulder and she babbles on) Lois…LOIS! (she stops and looks up at him) Lois, relax. We have plenty of time. The bag is already in the Jeep, remember? And the keys are hanging right there by the door where they should be. Sit back down. That contraction was, what, about a minute or two ago? And the first one was about 10 minutes before that? Let's time these and see how far along we are…
Scene: modern maternity hospital room/birthing environment room. Lois is walking around, looking quite fresh for a woman in labor. Clark walks in carrying a pitcher of water.
L: I wonder how much that pitcher of water is going to cost, Clark? I really ought to do a piece on the high price of EVERYTHING involved in having a baby these days— from aspirin to malpractice, you know? Thank goodness we have insurance through the Daily Planet, but what about people who don't have insurance?
C: It's been done, Lois.
L: Yes, but I have a UNIQUE perspective.
C: (wryly) uh huh, yeah. "Career woman gives birth! Exclusive story by the first woman to actually do it!"
L: (throwing a cup at him, which he catches, of course. She smiles) You can't tease me, Clark… I'm having a baby and that naturally precludes any and all teasing— just check the rule book. I think it's rule number OOOOOOOOOOOH! (sits down hard on bed and grimaces while rubbing one hand on belly, squeezing Clark's hand with the other) hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo
C: (looks down at his watch) Down to 5 minutes now. How do you feel?
L: (smiling, but looking just a bit less energetic) Uh, piece of cake. Can't believe women need drugs for this, Clark. I've always known I was strong with had a high tolerance for pain and this just proves it. I just wish we could get on with it. We've been here 6 hours already! (she stands up and starts walking around again)
(Perry walks in at this point, hearing the end of the conversation)
P: That's my girl! Chompin' at the bit as always. How are ya, Lois? (giving her a hug) Shouldn't you be in bed?
L: Actually, Perry, Dr. Fowler says it's better for me to be up and moving around as much as possible. It seems to make the labor easier for some women.
P: Well don't that just beat all… Clark, you hangin' in there with her, son?
C: All the way, Chief! But you didn't have to stop by at this hour— Alice must be worried!
P: Nah, I called and told her not to wait up. We had a late night— I was helping Jimmy with his piece on the homeless shelter. He's doin' a real good job with it— proud of how he's comin' along. After you called I let Alice know I'd be stopping by on my way home to see how you were doing.
L: You didn't have to do that, Chief. Everything's going perfectly, except that it's taking longer than I had planned. Why don't you go on home? We'll call you when it gets closer to time— looks like it could be a while.
P: Are you sure?
L: Perry, please… there's nothing here to see but OOOOOMPH! (grimaces and grabs Perry's hand and sits back down on the bed)hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo
C: Lois, you're doing great— just keep breathing!
P: Uh, Lois…uh…I know that hurt an awful lot. Uh…I want you to know that I'm here for ya, honey, but uh…could you uh…let go of my hand?
L: (letting go of Perry's hand and smiling tiredly) Sorry, Perry. I've been squeezing Clark's hand and it uh… doesn't seem to bother him too much. I think it's that… uh… sharing the pain thing. He feels obligated, you know?
C: I think it's time to call a nurse, just to check things, Lois. That one seemed pretty intense. I'll be right back.
P: If you don't mind… uh.. Lois, I think I'll just uh… stick around for a while…I uh… well, uh… well you're like one of my own, Lois. I love you and Clark dearly and I want to be here for you. All uh…all three of you…
L: Oh Perry— you really are just a big marshmallow inside! When Jonathan gets here you two can take cigar duty outside in the waiting room.
P: Uh.. your father…?
L: He's is Brazil or some place. I called mother and told her to come and she said she'd call Dad and let him know, but I'm not holding my breath on his getting here.
C: (coming into the room and stroking Lois's hair back off her forehead) How are you doing?
L: We're fine. Perry's going to stick around for a while.
(Nurse walks in) N: Okay, gentlemen, I'm going to have to ask you to leave for just a moment. Going to see just how far along we really are. (Clark and Perry leave and the nurse begins the exam)
L: I don't mean to brag, but this is really not that bad at all. A few seconds of pain every 5 minutes or so— I can handle this!
N: Well, Mrs. Kent, just try to hang onto that attitude because our raft is about to hit the rapids. You're dilated to the point where it starts to get rough.
L: I can handle it.
N: I'm sure you can. Your Lamaze instructor described the pain alternatives which will be available should you decide to use them, but I just want to go over it again with you.
L: I assure you, that won't be necessary.
N: I assure you, you may be singing a different tune 3 hours from now. Indulge me, okay?
L: (grumpily) Fine. But you're wasting UUUUUUUUUNH! (looking worse than she ever has before) hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…Clark! Where's Clark? hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo … hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo (finally leaning back against the pillows) That was, uh… a little stronger than the others. I can handle it, though— I'm tough. But uh…you were saying?…Pain alternatives?…
Scene: the same hospital room/home birthing environment. Four hours later, clock reads 4:30am)
L: (in the middle of a contraction) hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo (gritting teeth) CLARK!!!!!!
C: Lois, right here!
L: CLARK! Get the doctor! This must be it! I should have had the baby by now! I think I need a cesarean!
C: Lois, you've only been in labor about 10 hours, honey. That's normal.
L: ONLY 10 HOURS!!?! Clark, are you MAD? (sarcastically) You get on this bed and suffer *only* 10 hours of labor—then we'll talk. For now— SHUT UP and get the doctor.
C: Lois…I uh… I love you…
L: CLARK— THE DOCTOR!?! (Clark leaves the room, Lois talks to herself) That's the trouble with marrying Superman— he can't be hurt— he doesn't know pain! Oh yeah, there's the Kryptonite, but come on, how often does THAT happen? For 10 hours straight? I don't think so!!
(male nurse comes in, followed by Clark and Perry) N: Mrs. Kent, your doctor won't be coming in for a few more hours and I noticed you haven't had an epidural yet. I know you're in a lot of pain now— would you like me to order one?
L: (eyes flaming) You KNOW I'm in a lot of pain now? You know? You DON'T know what you're talking about, you…you…you MALE!!!! Now I UGGGGGGH! hee Clark! hee whoo whoo whoo whoo…hee Perry! hee whoo whoo whoo…HANDS! hee hee hee (they rush to each grab a hand for squeezing) whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo (grabbing Clark by the collar) Clark—I'm only going to say this once so listen good…platonic relationship…until you can have the babies, we have a platonic relationship, okay?
(3 1/2 hours later, clock reads 8am. Same scene, but Lois looks sweaty and completely exhausted, Clark looks worried and exhausted)
C: They're all out in the waiting room, Lois— Mom and Dad, Perry, Alice, Jimmy, Lucy, and your mother. Just hang in there a while longer.
L: Now tell me again why I didn't get that epidural?
C: (wiping her brow) Because…the contraction ended and you told the nurse to go to uh… to go away to another place … because you threw a water pitcher at the anesthesiologist because he was a man… because you are the strongest woman in the world and you want to know every moment of this child's birth, even the pain.
L: I love you, Clark.
C: I love you, too, Lois.
( the doctor walks in) D: Lois, you look wonderful— you're even glowing!
L: It's sweat, Julia.
D: Yes, that it is. We women do sweat when we work hard, don't we? When's the next contraction due?
C: uh…(looking at watch) Any second, actually— they're 2 minutes apart now.
L: Here it is!! (grimacing and squeezing Clark's hand) hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo …hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo…hee hee hee whoo whoo whoo (falling back against pillows but still holding Clark's hand)
D: Perfect! You two are quite a team! Well, let's see where we are now. (does a quick exam) Lois, have you been feeling like you want to push?
L: uh huh.
D: I'd say we're almost there, folks. You're going to have a baby within the hour! I'm going to get everything set up—Lois, if you feel like you want to push— DON'T. Clark, let's get you suited up for delivery!
(Lois in hospital bed holding the baby. Clark is sitting on the bed next to her. Both of them are cooing at the baby)
C: He's beautiful, just like his mother. (looks at Lois)
L: And handsome, like his father.
C: He's so tiny! Look at these fingers— and that nose! And these itty bitty ears!!
(there is a knock at the door and Jonathan, Martha, and Perry come in)
P: I uh… I told them I was a grandfather so they'd let me in. If you want to be alone…?
L: No Perry! You have to come in… all of you, and meet this little fellow.
(they all come up to the bed to see the baby)
C: Meet…Jonathan …Perry… Kent.
(Perry looks at Lois, then at the baby, then has tears in his eyes. Everyone starts hugging everyone else and crying and it's just a real touching scene)
(scene: the Daily Planet newsroom)
(Jimmy runs in with a huge grin on his face)
J: Everyone— I have an announcement…IT'S A BOY!!! We have a boy! We have a BOY!! And his name is Jonathan PERRY Kent!!!!
(loud cheers, confetti, crying, cigars, and just a big celebration starts as the scene fades out)