'TomKat,' Shields In Baby Irony

Irony abounded Tuesday in Hollywood when Katie Holmes had Tom Cruise's baby on the same day Brooke Shields gave birth.

Cruise and Shields were in a public spat last year after the actor criticized her for taking anti-depressants following the birth of her first child.

Cruise and Holmes, dubbed "TomKat" by the media, had a baby girl Tuesday, Cruise spokesman Arnold Robinson said, adding that the baby, named Suri, weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 20 inches long.

"Both mother and daughter are doing well," Robinson said in a prepared statement.

Shields, 40, gave birth to Grier Hammond Henchy, who weighed seven pounds, according to a spokesperson. Shields and husband Chris Henchy, a 42-year-old television writer and producer, also have a daughter, Rowan, who turns three next month. The couple has been married since 2001.

The Early Show entertainment contributor and People magazine Editor at Large Jess Cagle told co-anchor Rene Syler Wednesday the birth of the Cruise-Holmes baby was eagerly anticipated in Hollywood.

"I can't tell you," he said, "how many days there were rumors that, 'She's having the baby right now.' The strange thing was, nobody really knew where the baby was going to be born.

"We know (now) it was in a (Los Angeles) hospital. And, strangely enough, despite all of the media surrounding Tom and Katie's home in Beverly Hills, they were able to leave the house, get to the hospital, and come back home without anyone knowing.

"I'm pretty sure it was a silent birth because they kept saying, 'We're going to do it.' "

Silent births are espoused by the Church of Scientology, and involve just what the name implies: as much silence as possible during births by everyone there, even the mother.

"(But) she did have drugs," Cagle said. "She did have an epidural, and all of that stuff. And he did say recently that, if she wants to holler, she can holler."

Cagle noted that the statement from the couple's representative said the name "Suri" has its roots in Persia, and means "red rose." It also has Hebrew origins, and means "princess."

The couple was so secretive about the birth, Cagle pointed out, no one knew the baby's gender.

"In fact," he said, "There was a headline in a different magazine besides People a couple weeks ago that screamed, 'It's a boy.' So, there was a lot of speculation out there."

What no one could have anticipated, Cagle said, was Shields having her baby the same day as Holmes: "(Shields) not only had her baby yesterday, but in the same hospital, on the same floor as Tom's. So, clearly, the god of irony and hilarity was in Hollywood (Tuesday)."

More irony: Grier was 20 inches long, just like Suri, Cagle noted, adding: "This birth was much easier for Brooke Shields than the first birth. She didn't have to go through in vitro fertilization and all of that stuff. Obviously, she wrote a book on postpartum depression ('Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression') after her first child. And she has said this pregnancy has been much easier, and she's much better prepared this time. "

What gives, Syler asked, with all the unusual names stars have been giving their babies, such as Suri and Grier? Also, Gwyneth Paltrow's first baby was Apple, the second baby is Moses.

"I think," Cagle responded, "you see unique names with celebrities because, by nature of what they do and by nature of what they are, you know, they're very individualistic people. They want a child that will stand out.

"It helps if its name is Moses. Moses, though, is a special name between Gwyneth and Chris Martin because he wrote a song about her called 'Moses.' "

And, by the way, People has the first photos of little Moses in the edition hitting the stands Friday.
  • Brian Dakss

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