Transcript of 23rd Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, December 17th, 1996 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello Doctor. I hope you found the house okay.
Dr. Balis: Hello Sylvia. It was no problem--your directions were excellent. You have a very beautiful house.
Ms. Bows: Thank you Doctor. I love it. You can see that it is worth fighting for.
Dr. Balis: Where is Tom? Is he home?
Ms. Bows: Not yet. He is rarely home before six.
Dr. Balis: So how is bed rest?
Ms. Bows: I've been so busy that I don't know yet.
Dr. Balis: Aren't you on maternity leave?
Ms. Bows: Not really. I started to tell you last week but I guess I got diverted--I negotiated with Lloyd to work as close to full time as I can from home. There are a couple of big projects that will be launched soon and Lloyd and I felt that it would be best if I continued to supervise the production of all the technical materials and organization of technical support.
Dr. Balis: That sounds like a big job. Do you feel like you will be physically up to it?
Ms. Bows: I wasn't so sure but Lloyd was. We'll see. In the meantime I'm fully wired to the office and I'm considering getting my secretary to come here and work from my house for some part of the day. As you can see from my position, I can dictate a lot better than I can type.
Dr. Balis: Well actually I'm surprised to find you in the chair. I thought bed rest meant being in bed. Are you sure that Doctor Malleson had a lounge chair in mind for you?
Ms. Bows: It's a compromise. I have to keep my feet up and remain in positions that prevent the weight of the uterus to bear down on my cervix, but other than that...I'm hoping that I can use this chair for most of my bed rest requirement.
Dr. Balis: You're hoping for fifteen more weeks, right?
Ms. Bows: Yes. I think if I make it to thirty-five weeks I'll be very lucky. Of course term would be nice.
Dr. Balis: Of course. So was Kelly able to negotiate some kind of compromise in your living arrangements with Tom?
Ms. Bows: Not yet. But Tom did something really nice and completely unexpected for me this last weekend.
Dr. Balis: Yes?
Ms. Bows: Well Friday was my last day at work and of course I didn't get out of SII until about nine-thirty at night. There was always something more, just one last thing, you know how it is.
Dr. Balis: Sure.
Ms. Bows: Tom called to check up on me at least a dozen times. I told him that I'm doing the best I can, but he was furious that SII was trying to take advantage of me knowing that I was ordered to take it easy. He threatened to call Lloyd personally and give him a piece of his mind. Luckily for Lloyd he went on vacation to New York. Which, by the way, infuriated Tom even more. When I got home, Tom told me that he wants me to quit right away. He was arguing that no job is worth losing the twins.
Dr. Balis: Tom is right about that.
Ms. Bows: Tom is right, but he was overreacting. It was my last day at the office and I expected it to be a big deal. Plus I wasn't stupid about it--I got everyone around me to do all the work. I just gave orders and directed the show. But I had to talk with all my staff and explain the plan of action. On top of it all, my personal secretary took a medical leave of absence and for the last month and a half it's been a chore just to find something. Sorry Doctor, I know I'm rambling. It's just that I'm still trying to work out my job in my head.
Dr. Balis: That's okay. Would you like to talk about your job and all the changes that are happenening with you professionally?
Ms. Bows: No, no. Hopefully there will really be nothing to talk about. But thank you. What I would like to talk about is Tom.
Dr. Balis: So Tom was angry with you when you got home on Friday?
Ms. Bows: Yes and no. He was strange about it. He was mostly upset with SII--he felt that the company was using me and trying to squeeze every available bit of energy out of me. Tom wasn't very reasonable or understanding. The funny thing is that I know he would have behaved exactly the same way in my place. Or in the place of Lloyd for that matter. But I didn't let Tom indulge in righteous indignation for too long--I was too tired and needed to go to bed right away. But it was Saturday morning that was the most interesting.
Dr. Balis: What happened Saturday morning?
Ms. Bows: I woke up kind of late and took my time getting down for breakfast. Tom was waiting for me in the kitchen. As I sat down to eat...
Dr. Balis: I thought you were on bed rest. Walking up and down the stairs, sitting down to eat--that's not bed rest.
Ms. Bows: I decided to start bed rest officially on Sunday. I just wanted one day to adjust to my new life style.
Dr. Balis: Doctor Malleson approves of this?
Ms. Bows: I told him what I was doing. And I've been very careful this whole last week. I was doing the minimum amount of moving around and I tried to keep my legs up as much as possible. I just needed Saturday to get my self set up--I wanted to arrange my life so that I can run it from this chair.
Dr. Balis: I understand. Actually I'm very impressed with your set up--a computer station, telephone, entertainment center--and that's even a little refrigerator?--all within arm's reach.
Ms. Bows: The computer and telephone set up was done by SII. They had some experts come out last week and work this all out. I also have a little intercom system. I can get in touch with my nurse-guardian at any time.
Dr. Balis: Very impressive.
Ms. Bows: Thank you. So I was telling you about Tom.
Dr. Balis: Sorry, please go on.
Ms. Bows: Tom was waiting for my in the kitchen. He said that he had a little surprise for me. He said that if I felt up to it, he would like to take me on a little shopping trip.
Dr. Balis: Shopping?
Ms. Bows: Shopping for baby stuff. I had done nothing up to then. We needed baby cribs and changing tables, blankets, bathes, clothes...just to mention a few things.
Dr. Balis: Tom took you shopping for baby things?
Ms. Bows: I was surprised too. But he was right. If I wanted to actually see the things that I was buying, Saturday was my last chance.
Dr. Balis: You could have shopped by catalogs.
Ms. Bows: True. But it's not the same. Tom ordered a limo to take us to various baby shops.
Dr. Balis: Tom went with you?
Ms. Bows: He offered to let me go by myself. But I thought about it and he did go to all this trouble so...
Dr. Balis: Do you think Tom wanted to go?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. But if he was willing to come along and do all the purchasing and delivery negotiations while I did all the closing...I just didn't feel like stopping him. If he wants to claim custody of these kids, he should do some of the...
Dr. Balis: I'm surprised Sylvia. I would have thought you would oppose his involvement with the twins at any level. Did you want him to go with you?
Ms. Bows: I don't know. It was really nice to just hang back and let him deal. At one point, I was sitting in this rocking chair with my feet up and Tom was directing the sales people to parade in front of me with all the goods. We got tons of stuff. We got stuff we never even heard of. Take a crib, for example. I thought you get a crib and maybe some sheets. Oh no. It's a crib and then a mattress and a mattress pad and a rubber under sheet and outer sheets and a comforter and a crib bumper and a dust ruffle and a special pillow to get the babies to sleep on their sides. And then you need the little wind-up mobile for entertainment. These people have it all worked out--they have long lists of things they say you need and they know that you're a vulnerable customer. I mean who wouldn't want to buy all the necessary equipment for their child? And we were getting at least two of everything. At some point, I was so tired that I stopped counting and figuring out what it was that we were actually getting. When Tom saw me getting so exhausted, he brought me some snacks and a bottle of juice. And while I ate and relaxed, he continued to shop.
Dr. Balis: That was very nice of Tom.
Ms. Bows: Yes.
Dr. Balis: So did you get everything you need?
Ms. Bows: Actually I don't think I can answer that. Most of the stuff we got will not arrive until after the new year. But Tom didn't stop there.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Bows: After we left this giant baby wonderland, Tom took me to a nice place for lunch. And then there was the final surprise for the day waiting for me at home.
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: As we got out of the limo, I wanted to go straight into the house. But Tom motioned for me go into the garage first. In there, with a huge bow and ribbon tied around the middle, was one of these four wheel drive super family cars. The license place read "TWINS."
Dr. Balis: That was very very nice of Tom.
Ms. Bows: Yes, he thought of everything. I have to say he made me feel very happy that day. It wasn't so much about all the stuff that we got for the kids. It was more about the feeling of reality that purchasing all the baby clothes and furniture and accessories gave to my pregnancy.
Dr. Balis: All you have to do is look in the mirror if you begin to doubt your pregnancy status. You look officially very pregnant.
Ms. Bows: I know. And I can feel it too. But somehow Tom made me feel very excited about. He managed to raise the level of anticipation. I felt like it was happening. It stopped being so abstract somehow. Now I have little bathtubs for the kids and I'm thinking about how it will be to wash their little bodies. How they would feel in my hands. Before it was all about getting and being pregnant. Now I think more about them as little individuals. I wonder if they are going to like the color of the sheets I got for them. Or whether they'll like the tunes we chose for their music boxes.
Dr. Balis: Tom changed the focus from you and your pregnancy onto the twins.
Ms. Bows: Yes I guess that's it. Before it was all about me and how the pregnancy was making me feel. Now I think about the kids. It was as if something clicked in. Maybe before I just never had time to think about it. I felt like I was fighting the world for the privilege of becoming a mother. But what it was actually going to be like to be a mother...I thought about it before when I first decided that I wanted to have children. But since then I was concentrating on getting there and not really giving any thoughts to the kids themselves. Am I making any sense?
Dr. Balis: I think it happens to a lot of people. They decide on the goal but then lose sight of it in the process of obtaining it. And it's not selfishness because worrying about your pregnancy is worrying about the twins right now. The pregnancy is everything for them and for you right now.
Ms. Bows: Thank you for understanding Doctor. I've been churning this in my head these last two days and was feeling very guilty about abandoning my children like that.
Dr. Balis: You didn't abandon your children Sylvia. You just got a little wrapped up in...
Ms. Bows: I was very selfish. But I know I can be a very good mother to them.
Dr. Balis: I know you will be Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I don't know what Tom wants of me, but I'm really grateful to him for what he has done.
Dr. Balis: Did you try talking to him like we discussed last time?
Ms. Bows: Last week was just too hectic. But now that I'll be home all the time, I'll try.
Dr. Balis: Good. Now when shell we meet? Next Tuesday is Christmas Eve.
Ms. Bows: What about Monday?
Dr. Balis: Can we make it a little later?
Ms. Bows: How about five?
Dr. Balis: I'll see you at five o'clock next Monday--that's December 23rd. Take care of yourself Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I will. Thank you Doctor. Good night.
Dr. Balis: Good night Sylvia. Don't get up--you're on bed rest. I can see myself out.
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