Transcript of 33rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Wednesday, March 26, 1997 at 4 pm in the California Pacific Medical Center.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor. Thanks for rescheduling for today. Although I'm tired today, I just felt too exhausted yesterday.
Dr. Balis: I understand, Sylvia. Anything I can do to accommodate the mother of twins. Hi, Roald. He's changed a lot in just one week. Looks like he is gaining weight fast.
Ms. Bows: Him and his brother both. Grant is doing so well that they are thinking about releasing him early.
Dr. Balis: That's wonderful news, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Oh, I can't wait. It's been a very long week. I don't think I got more then two hours of continuous sleep the entire time. And that was only because Tom took pity on me and fed Roald formula instead of me.
Dr. Balis: So the hospital didn't let you stay?
Ms. Bows: No. We stretched it out to Friday afternoon, and then we had to leave. But Tom managed to set up camp in one of the waiting rooms near the Infant ICU. Labor and Delivery lent us a fold-away cot and we brought in a porta-crib. But it is very difficult. There is little privacy and I'm still very sore from the delivery. But at least we could be with both boys.
Dr. Balis: The hospital allowed you to stay in the waiting room all this time?
Ms. Bows: We never asked. The nurses seem to be very understanding of our predicament and, for the most part, leave us alone. You don't mind if I feed Roald, do you? I'd rather he ate this way. I do too much pumping as it is.
Dr. Balis: Go right ahead. I told you that you wouldn't be shy about this for long.
Ms. Bows: That's true. But most people are pretty good about this. I have to pump my breasts for milk to feed Grant--he is still having problems suckling. I do it in the waiting room and, as you can imagine, it's not the kind of thing that one wants to do in public. But everyone understands. People leave the room, or pretend to look away, trying to give me at least a perception of privacy.
Dr. Balis: So you spend most of your time here at the hospital?
Ms. Bows: About eighty percent. And I'm tired as hell. I look like shit. And I feel myself falling asleep in mid-thought sometimes. There were a few times when I didn't know what was a dream and what actually happened. I could swear I had certain conversations with Tom--they were nothing serious, just about feeding schedules for the boys and something about my mother...I don't remember now. But Tom said that they never happened. It's not a big deal, Doctor. I feel like I'm just rambling on. I'm sorry. I'm just dead tired.
Dr. Balis: I understand. It's not uncommon to mix real events with realistic day dreams in the state of exhaustion that you seem to be in. So don't worry about it. You're not losing your mind.
Ms. Bows: I didn't think I was. But thank you for your confidence, Doctor. It's not like I don't have reasons to go over the deep end.
Dr. Balis: The usual or is it something I don't know?
Ms. Bows: Richard showed up at the house over the weekend.
Dr. Balis: At your house?
Ms. Bows: Apparently he called the hospital first and they told him that I was discharged on Friday. So he went there.
Dr. Balis: What did he want?
Ms. Bows: He said that he wanted to see the children. He still thinks that he is the natural father and he's claiming that he has rights.
Dr. Balis: Did you let him in?
Ms. Bows: Tom was at the hospital, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk with Richard. I introduced him to Roald.
Dr. Balis: How was that?
Ms. Bows: For all his incredible annoying qualities and self-righteousness, Richard was surprisingly good with Roald. He has that magic touch with babies. But when I tried to talk to him seriously about the whole situation, he got really excited and stormed out. I wanted to make Richard understand that I saw my future with Tom. I really want to be with Tom for the rest of my life, despite all that's happened between us.
Dr. Balis: Richard didn't take rejection well?
Ms. Bows: No one takes rejection well, Doctor. Richard accused me of selfishly using people for my own personal gain. I can't say that I don't agree with him. I did use him. I wanted his sperm and, frankly, I wanted his companionship at a time when I thought my world was falling apart. Richard was happy to provide both in ample quantities. But now I wish he would be a gentleman and go away quietly.
Dr. Balis: I don't think Richard will do that.
Ms. Bows: No. I know he filed more papers. He is trying to get visitation rights while he is battling for custody of the boys. And while his lawsuit is absurd, he might be able to rationalize his rights to visit and "bond" with the boys, as he put it, while final decisions are being made.
Dr. Balis: I see.
Ms. Bows: When Richard left the house on Saturday, he said that he was going to the hospital to see Grant. Tom didn't say a word to me about that visit. But one of the ICU nurses told me that Richard claimed that he was the father in front of the whole nursing staff. Tom apparently got pretty ticked off, but when Richard tried to touch Grant, Tom got violent. Security was called and I guess they didn't want to decide between the two of them, so they threw both of them out for being disruptive. On top of all this Hal showed up.
Dr. Balis: Hal?
Ms. Bows: I was here at the hospital. He was actually very nice and apologized for embarrassing me with his balcony scene theatrics. But before he saw me, he went over to visit Grant. They asked him if he was a relation to Grant and he said that he was the father. I can just imagine the rumors flying about the hospital. I was a strange enough case--twins with two gestational ages--everyone talked about that. But now three men are battling over paternity. I won't be surprised if I get a call from Oprah.
Dr. Balis: How is Tom talking all this?
Ms. Bows: We don't talk about it. In fact we pretend like there is absolutely nothing strange going on.
Dr. Balis: That doesn't sound too healthy.
Ms. Bows: Tom's big on repression. And frankly, I don't mind much right now.
Dr. Balis: You've got to start working things out with Tom. Talk to him about your feelings. Ask him about his. This is not going to go away by itself, Sylvia. You've got to find a way for both of you to come to terms and live with this situation.
Ms. Bows: I tried talking with Tom.
Dr. Balis: And?
Ms. Bows: He knows when I'm about to bring it up and changes the conversation abruptly or finds a reason to leave. I don't think he's looked me in the eyes once since he found out about the affairs.
Dr. Balis: Are you sure?
Ms. Bows: At first I thought I was just imaging it. But I've tried to make him look at my face--look at me--and he's managed to avoid it every single time. Mind you, he's not being obvious about it, Doctor. He just doesn't look at me somehow.
Dr. Balis: Are there other changes in Tom behavior toward you that you've noticed?
Ms. Bows: When we talk, it always seems to be about the children. You'll probably think that I'm paranoid, but it's like Tom can be with me, even touching me, and still be avoiding me at the same time.
Dr. Balis: Tom has a lot of things to think about and figure out.
Ms. Bows: Thank you for not attributing these observations to my exhaustion or paranoia.
Dr. Balis: I do think that both of you are extremely tired. Physically and emotionally. I predict things will improve dramatically once Grant is home and you don't have to put up with the madness of living with a newborn baby in a hospital waiting room. I'm not sure I would fare well in these circumstances.
Ms. Bows: You're probably right, Doctor. Tom seems to be so attached to Grant. When he is well enough to take home, I think Tom will be able to relax a bit. Sometimes I think that Tom feels so much empathy for Grant that he feels everything Grant feels--the tubes, the shots, the machines.
Dr. Balis: You sound unhappy about that.
Ms. Bows: I'm not. I want Tom to bond with the kids. I want him to feel like he is their one and only father. It's just that Tom spends all his time with Grant.
Dr. Balis: Grant needs him more than you and Roald right now.
Ms. Bows: You think that I'm jealous of Grant. I'm not. I'm just...I don't know what I feel. It's nothing. It's good that Grant has Tom to care so much about him. I mean...I care about him too. But I have two--Grant and Roald. Oh, this all sounds so insane. I really should go anyway. I need to get to the ICU before they'll feed Grant without me.
Dr. Balis: Do you want me to go with you?
Ms. Bows: No thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Okay. I'll see you next week, Sylvia. Good luck.
Ms. Bows: Thank you, Doctor. Goodbye.
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