Transcript of 27th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, January 28, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello Doctor. It's nice to see you.
Dr. Balis: Hello Sylvia. How are you feeling today?
Ms. Bows: Not bad. Tired. But I seem to always be tired lately.
Dr. Balis: You look wonderful--very pregnant.
Ms. Bows: You should keep looking--the boys have been very active today. My whole belly seems to have a life of its own. You can see them move from across the room!
Dr. Balis: Tell me when you feel something.
Ms. Bows: I will. Tom says that sometimes it looks like I have kittens fighting under my shirt.
Dr. Balis: I'd like to see that. So how was your week?
Ms. Bows: It's been all right. I don't get to get out much and being in this room day after day really focuses my attention on these kids and how my body is changing to accommodate them.
Dr. Balis: Seems perfectly natural.
Ms. Bows: It's strange how the outside world has lost most of its appeal to me. I don't even read the newspaper anymore. If you told me a year ago that I would care so little about the outside world I would have accused you of not understanding my very being--of not knowing what makes me tick. Now my whole world has shrunk to the size of my uterus. I pay a lot of attention to every twitch and every ache. I don't want to miss a single sign that my body is willing to give me. You see this computer next to my chair?
Dr. Balis: I was wondering about that. I thought it was a fancy telephone.
Ms. Bows: It's a device that links me directly to the hospital.
Dr. Balis: I'm not sure I understand.
Ms. Bows: They brought it in yesterday. I put this belt around my waist and the sensors inside it record any contractions that I may have during a particular period. This allows me and the nurses to monitor how strong and how far apart my contractions are. If they get too strong or happen at regular intervals, the nurses call my doctors and they decide whether to increase the dose of my anti-contraction medication. Hopefully this device will keep the babies inside for a few weeks longer.
Dr. Balis: So the sensors in this belt record the contractions and send them via modem to the hospital?
Ms. Bows: Yes. Except the data is first sent to this monitoring service which examines how far apart the contractions are, how many are in an hour, and how strong they are. Then they pass this information along to Doctor Malleson.
Dr. Balis: How many times a day do you have to monitor?
Ms. Bows: I do three times a day. What really surprised me was how hard it was for me to tell if I was having a contraction. I thought it would be easy. I thought it would hurt or something equally obvious. But since this is still so early in the pregnancy, I feel only the very strong contractions. They feel like my stomach tightens up like a drum and then relaxes again after about a minute. But some of the contractions that show up on this monitor I can't feel at all.
Dr. Balis: I'm glad that there is this kind of technology.
Ms. Bows: Me too. I'm so grateful to my doctor and all the nurses too. If it wasn't for's scary to think what would have happened.
Dr. Balis: So now you don't even have to leave your house to get a check-up, huh?
Ms. Bows: Well, I was sort of looking forward to my outings even if they were only to the doctor's office.
Dr. Balis: How often did you have to go?
Ms. Bows: Every Monday.
Dr. Balis: So yesterday was your last time?
Ms. Bows: For a while. Actually something strange happened yesterday.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: Well, when I was waiting for the ultrasound technician in the maternity ward of the hospital yesterday, I saw one of my writers from SII. I sort of got a feeling that he was there waiting for me.
Dr. Balis: Why do you think that?
Ms. Bows: You might remember me mentioning Hal Mainor--one of the potential fathers?
Dr. Balis: I remember Hal. You didn't seem to be too fond of him.
Ms. Bows: He was very strange.
Dr. Balis: Then or now?
Ms. Bows: Both actually. I had to send him home to work because he was constantly hanging around me for some reason. And in the hospital yesterday, he was very strange. I thought I recognized him when we first walked in there. But he pretended that he hadn't seen us and I let it go at that. Then Tom went to the bathroom and as soon as he left me, Hal came over.
Dr. Balis: What did he want?
Ms. Bows: At first it was the regular "Hi, how are you." Except he constantly was looking around as if he was expecting someone. I asked if he was there with his wife--most men don't hang around the maternity ward of a hospital without a reason. But he told me that he and his wife are no longer really together.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Bows: He continued by saying just how important our evening of passion together was for him. He said that it changed his life. That's how he put it, "Our evening of passion." I was getting kind of uncomfortable. He kept looking at me with these sort of pleading, rodent kind of eyes. I kept thinking of a weasel. He was so furtive, always glancing around hurriedly like he was about to be caught. I guess he was afraid of Tom--that's all I can figure.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: So he's twitching around--he really is remarkably unattractive. And then he asked if he could feel my baby. I told him that it was actually two--two boys. But before I could really stop him, he's down on his knees next to the chair with his hands on my belly. You know Doctor, people ask me about my pregnancy all the time. Somehow being pregnant gives everyone permission to touch your tummy. Everyone in my family felt the boys punch around in there. But with Hal...that was really strange.
Dr. Balis: He made you feel uncomfortable? Do you think that Hal might believe that the babies are his?
Ms. Bows: I thought I made it very plain that they weren't.
Dr. Balis: Do you remember actually talking to him about that?
Ms. Bows: I thought I did. But in any case, here was Hal on his knees with his hands on my belly looking into my face with the most bizarre expression and Tom comes back. So I introduced them.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Hal pulled his hands away like he got caught stealing a cookie or something. It was almost funny. He told Tom that he was a friend and a co-worker from SII. And then he told him that we were very close. Very close. I thought I was going to kick him right there in the hospital waiting room. The nerve! But Tom took his hand and shook it and pulled him up off his knees. Hal finally got embarrassed and, murmuring something about meeting someone, hurried away. I was left to explain to Tom who this weirdo was.
Dr. Balis: Was Tom understanding?
Ms. Bows: I didn't go into too many details. I just said that he was a writer who worked for me and was having a nervous breakdown. I told him that I was forced to send him to work at home.
Dr. Balis: So you don't think Tom...
Ms. Bows: I didn't think that Tom knows just how many men I had. I have a feeling that he thinks that I had an affair with Richard and no one else.
Dr. Balis: Did Tom tell you that?
Ms. Bows: No. Not explicitly. I sort of gathered it from the conversations we had together about this subject. Not very numerous, I must admit, but that's the sense I get.
Dr. Balis: That Tom believes that there is only one possible father?
Ms. Bows: Yes, I think so. So I don't think that Tom thought of Hal as anything but strange.
Dr. Balis: I see. And what do you think Hal wanted from you?
Ms. Bows: He said that he's been trying to get in touch with me for weeks now. He said that there is something very important that he wants to discuss with me. But it's strange--I didn't get any messages or e-mail or anything from him. I should try to check it out.
Dr. Balis: I see. To change the subject just a little bit--have you heard from Richard lately?
Ms. Bows: No. Not a thing. Come to think of it that's a bit odd too. Richard is not the kind of guy who would stop communicating. Maybe he's been sick or something. I'll give him a call.
Dr. Balis: Do you think that's wise?
Ms. Bows: Why not? He was a very nice guy.
Dr. Balis: Do you want him to get involved at this point? Didn't he try to ask you to marry him last time you talked?
Ms. Bows: But I would tell him about Tom.
Dr. Balis: My advice Sylvia is that it might be better to leave good enough alone for right now. Just let things lie. The situation between Richard and Tom is potentially a bit explosive, and I really think it would be better to wait until after your babies are born before you stir things up.
Ms. Bows: I guess you're right Doctor.
Dr. Balis: I wanted to ask you how you were keeping up with your work at SII? I know you were going to work at home. How's that going?
Ms. Bows: Oh god. It's just the last thing I have energy for these days. They've been very understanding at work and have really lightened up on the requests for my time. I really need to remember to tell Lloyd just how grateful I am for his understanding how important these babies are to me. Actually, Doctor, I think I need to stop for now. It's amazing how tired I get in just a few minutes of conversation. I hope you're not taking this personally. It's not just you.
Dr. Balis: I know that. I know you have very limited energy nowadays, Sylvia. I'll see you next week. Let me know if Hal tries to get in touch with you again.
Ms. Bows: Sure. You're the only one I would care to discuss this with Doctor. I'll let you know if that lunatic surfaces again.
Dr. Balis: Good. Have a good week Sylvia. Feel well and I'll see you next week.
Ms. Bows: I'll look forward to it. Goodbye Doctor.
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