Transcript of 4th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Jesse Trent, Monday, November 17, 1997 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Jesse. Are you feeling all right?
Mr. Trent: Hi. Um, no. I don't know.
Dr. Balis: Jesse, have a seat. What's going on?
Mr. Trent: Maddie...she's...God. She's pregnant, Doctor Balis!
Dr. Balis: Maddie is pregnant? When did you find this out?
Mr. Trent: Yesterday. She'd been really upset since her doctor visit last week. How could I be so stupid? She didn't say anything to me at first. Yesterday afternoon, I heard her talking to Sammy. I know it was wrong to listen in, but I'm glad I did. Christ! I just...I don't know, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: It's okay, Jesse. This was obviously a shock for both of you. When you feel ready, please tell me what happened.
Mr. Trent: A shock? That's a hell of an understatement. I feel like I've been sucker punched. Maddie's so confused, she doesn't know what to do now. Damn! What did she do to deserve this? All we wanted was to be happy, raise a family, retire, and die.
Dr. Balis: Jesse, have you told Maddie that you know about the pregnancy?
Mr. Trent: Yes. When I heard her say she was pregnant, at first I was ecstatic. You know, we'd been trying and trying and I thought, "Great, this will bring us together." But then, the thought crossed my mind, "What if it isn't mine? What if it's that pervert rapist's?" That was when I felt like I'd been punched. I really lost it. I went down into our basement--we rented a house after the rape--and started beating the hell out of some boxes. Maddie must have heard me, because she came downstairs and asked me what in the world I was doing. That was the most she had said to me all week. I didn't know what to say. I just stood there crying. The crying must have gotten to her, because she came over to me and asked me what was wrong again. So I just flat out asked her why she didn't tell me about the baby.
Dr. Balis: Here's a tissue, Jesse. I think you should know that the actual percentage of women becoming pregnant due to a rape is very low. Studies show that less than two percent of rape victims become pregnant by their rapist. How did Maddie answer when you confronted her?
Mr. Trent: Thanks, Doc. Well, at first, she just stood there and looked at me. I kept asking her why couldn't she tell me. I was standing there crying like a little baby myself. Finally, she just sat down on a box and started crying. She said she didn't know how to tell me. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do. She wanted to do some research and get her head together. She also told me that very few rapes end in pregnancy. But what if she's one of the rare ones? This bastard has already damn near destroyed my marriage. Now, he's going to take my wife the rest of the way to Hell!
Dr. Balis: This is going to be hard on both you and Maddie, Jesse. Did Maddie tell you how far along she is?
Mr. Trent: Yeah, she's about eleven weeks. Since Maddie told me they do it from the first day of her last period, that means that the pregnancy would have occurred around the time of the rape. She isn't sure what she is going to do, Doctor Balis. What if it's my child, and she aborts it? What if she has it, and it's the rapist's? How exactly are we supposed to decide the fate of this kid and Maddie's sanity?
Dr. Balis: Those are tough choices, Jesse. However, you can determine the paternity of the baby in utero. You can do some research about it on the Internet. Do you have access to the Net?
Mr. Trent: Yes, we're connected to the Net. Any info you can give me would be great, thanks.
Dr. Balis: Okay, I'll give you some web addresses which provide information on the two procedures before you leave. But I would like to go ahead and give you some information right now, okay?
Mr. Trent: Sure, that'll be great. I can share the information with Maddie at home, and we can talk about it. So go ahead. Lay it on me, Doc.
Dr. Balis: All right. Paternity testing can be performed prior to the birth of a child. DNA testing can be done with a Chorionic Villi Sample--CVS for short--which is generally performed around eight to eleven weeks into the pregnancy. The other option is Amniocentesis, which is generally performed twelve to twenty-two weeks into the pregnancy. There are risks to the fetus, such as miscarriage or birth defects. The earlier the procedure is done, the higher is the risk. Most studies show that waiting until the sixteenth week of pregnancy usually reduces the risks greatly. Let me pull up this web address for you. You and Maddie should go over the facts more closely.
Mr. Trent: So they can do it while there's still time to abort? Wow, technology has really come along. Thanks for the info, Doc. It's a relief to know we can find out one way or the other. It makes deciding a hell of a lot easier. This should really help Maddie. Thanks so much, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Of course, Jesse. No problem. Did you and Maddie actually sit and talk about the pregnancy?
Mr. Trent: Yes. That's about the only good thing to come of the pregnancy so far. Um, like I said, she sat down there in the basement and just started talking. We were both extremely upset. I finally let her know how I had been feeling. You know, helpless, useless, frustrated, angry, hurt. It almost got ugly when she made a comment about how it wasn't "about" me. I kept my cool and told her I didn't feel this way because of me, but because I couldn't do anything to help her. I told her I felt these things because she was the only thing in the world that mattered to me. That bastard had hurt her, and I couldn't do anything to protect her. Then, she kind of looked at me as if she had never seen me before, you know what I mean? Like she had finally opened her eyes and saw I was there. She came over and crawled into my lap, Doc, and I sat there with her in my arms once again, and I stroked her hair for the next two hours.
Dr. Balis: I'm very glad that Maddie has opened up to you again, Jesse. Often times when people get caught up in their own anguish, they lose sight of everything around them. As you've just said, she looked at you like she hadn't seen you before, and that may be more true than you realize. After something as traumatic as a rape, many have said that they felt as if they were walking around in a daze. I'd guess that Maddie might feel that way. How do you feel about this change in her attitude?
Mr. Trent: How do I feel? How do you think I feel? I feel like that giant hole in my heart has been at least partially closed. The baby, and the rapist still being on the loose, are the only things keeping me from feeling whole again. It was so wonderful sitting there with her in my arms. We talked and talked. I even told her about you.
Dr. Balis: How did Maddie react when you told her you were undergoing counseling?
Mr. Trent: She was kind of stunned at first, really. I think the fact that I actually went out and tried to get some perspective on things really drove home the fact that I cared. I try not to lose control of myself too often, and the fact that I sought you out really made her think. She even suggested coming to a session with me. So the two of you might meet.
Dr. Balis: I would be more than happy to include Maddie into one of our sessions, if that's what you want, Jesse.
Mr. Trent: Let me think about that one, Doc. I kind of like having you all to myself. Just joking. But I would like to think about it. Let me see how things go over the next week and over Thanksgiving, okay?
Dr. Balis: Okay. You can let me know later, or give me a call if you decide at the last minute to bring Maddie along to our next session. And I hope you know that you can call me anytime, if you need to.
Mr. Trent: Hey thanks, Doc. I may take you up on that one soon.
Dr. Balis: Why is that, Jesse?
Mr. Trent: Oh. I guess I haven't gotten around to mentioning that Maddie's parents are invading for the Turkey Day. They arrive next Tuesday. Lucky for me, Sammy is coming with them. I think Maddie is dreading it almost as much as I am, but they insisted in that way only parents can. Holidays! Got to hate 'em.
Dr. Balis: In-laws can be very stressful. Do you feel that the situation can remain civil while they're visiting?
Mr. Trent: Well, hauling off and punching my mother-in-law out is mighty tempting, but I think I'll be able to resist it. To be honest though, they aren't nearly as bad as my parents. Plus, Sammy being there will help out. Maddie's little brother, Max, might come, too. He's seventeen and a really cool kid. His girlfriend wants him to stay home and be with her, though. He called me last week to see if there will be any good concerts while they'll in town. That's how I found out they were coming in the first place. I told him there was always something good going on here. So maybe he'll show up, and we can have some fun.
Dr. Balis: It's good to hear that you'll have some allies during the visit--that may help distract from the tension. Has Maddie told her parents about the pregnancy yet?
Mr. Trent: No way! She swore me to secrecy, too--like I'm going to tell them anything. She wants to explore her options before she tells anyone. She told Sammy because she's her best friend. And if anyone can steer her right, it will be Sambo. Maddie's parents are big time Bible thumpers. They'd never support her decision to an abortion, if that's what she decides to do.
Dr. Balis: They wouldn't support her decision to abort if it turns out to be the rapist's child?
Mr. Trent: Nope. They would tell her to have it and put it up for adoption. They'll probably try to get one of their Christian friends to adopt it. That would be great. Nothing like a constant reminder around, huh?
Dr. Balis: I can see why she does not want them to know right now. How do you and Maddie feel about performing an abortion if it's necessary?
Mr. Trent: Well, there isn't much for me to feel, it's a woman choice. I can't say if it's right or wrong. With the state of the world today--kids running the streets, parents with no control, over population--maybe there should be a few less. But I can't decide for other people. Maddie feels the same way. She would do it in a second if this baby isn't mine. She told me that last night. But otherwise, I don't think she would consider it for herself. But Maddie also believes in freedom of choice--you can't know another human being's situation or feelings.
Dr. Balis: Well, I hope the genetic testing will help you and Maddie decide what to do. I would urge you to make a decision about the test you want to take soon. The more you wait, the more...
Mr. Trent: I know. Thank you, Doctor Balis. You really have been a great help in this whole mess. I've been frantic all day--happy because I have my wife back and mad because of what she now has to decide. I feel like I'm being torn apart. And I can only imagine what Maddie is feeling--it must be a thousand times worse. But I've got to take it one day at a time, right, Doc?
Dr. Balis: Right, Jesse. Work on your relationship with Maddie, but don't over do it. Be there for her, but don't get discouraged if she begins pushing you away again.
Mr. Trent: Yeah, I know the routine: be there for her, stand by her, help her, understand her. I will do all of this with pleasure now, because now I have hope that things will one day be good again. Do you have that web address for me, Doc?
Dr. Balis: Yes, I do. Here it is. This one will tell you about CVS, and it also has links to the Amnio. Try doing some Internet searches on paternity testing in utero and things along that line. I'd also suggest that you and Maddie go see her OB doctor as soon as you can and discuss the in-utero paternity testing. With your circumstances, most doctors would be willing to perform the paternity testing.
Mr. Trent: Thanks again, Doctor Balis. This helps more than you know. Now we have somewhere to start.
Dr. Balis: Good. Same time next week?
Mr. Trent: You got it, Doc. See you then.
Dr. Balis: See you later, Jesse. Good luck.
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