Officials at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier are baffled: They are having an explosion of twins.
For the first time in its 27-year history the hospital found itself last week with five sets of twins in its nursery.
While none of the mothers said they took fertility drugs, the incidence of twins did pop up in their families.
Pat Cacioppo of Pico Rivera said her grandmother had twins and that her husband, Michael, is a twin. Their babies are Dominic Joseph, who weighed 6 pounds 1/2 ounce and is the older, and Angelina Marie, 6 pounds 3 1/2 ounces. They are their parents' first babies.
For Linda and Mario Philippou of Whittier, twins were a surprise, and a Caesarean section was performed to bring Sharon Lynnette (6 pounds 10 ounces) and Michelle Leeann (5 pounds 10 ounces) into the world. The babies are identical ("I can't tell them apart," Linda Philippou said) but fraternal twins occur in both Linda and Mario's families.
"My mother's sister had twins," said Kathy Batistelli of Hacienda Heights, adding jokingly that "my husband said he would have had second thoughts if he had known that."
Kathy and Richard Batistelli hesitated over names for several days before deciding to call their new daughters Victoria Whitney (6 pounds 1 ounce) and Lauren Amanda (5 pounds 9 ounce). Didn't they expect twins?
"We expected twins but every name I liked my husband didn't like and every name he liked I didn't like," Kathy Batistelli said. "Then they came five weeks early. In fact I was getting ready to go to work. I was the best-looking one in the delivery room--I had my makeup on and everything."
The Batistellis also have a 9-year-old daughter, Nicole, who had misgivings about the new babies but, her mother said, "is delighted now that they're here."
Presbyterian Intercommunity's other arrivals the fourth week of April included Adam Christopher and Allison Christine, born to Bonnie and Steven Mansell of South Gate, and Ashley Marie and Alysse Michelle, born to Jacqueline Waite of Whittier.
Besides their new twins, Pat Cacioppo, Kathy Batistelli and Linda Philippou have something else in common: Each plans to return to work in a few months.
At 71, She's Learning
Mary Hyun's college career began in 1958. This June, 28 years and two degrees and a teaching credential later, Hyun, 71, will receive a master's in fine arts from California State University, Los Angeles.
Hyun of Silver Lake, who describes herself as "a country girl" without much formal education (she was born in the tiny town of Sprecklesville, Maui, Hawaii), has been wife, mother, businesswoman and community activist. When severe cramps in her hands made bookkeeping and clerical work impossible, a friend suggested painting as a possible therapy and Hyun enrolled in Chouinard Art Institute in 1958.
She transferred in 1963 to Los Angeles City College, where seven years later she earned an associate of arts degree. In 1975 she got her bachelor's in fine arts with honors at Cal State L.A. and the next year she received a life teaching credential in adult education from the same institution.
She recently had a one-woman show of her batik paintings through which, she says, she expresses "my philosophy toward both art and life. . . . The basic philosophic concern is the freedom to express harmonious relationships. . . . The batik paintings illustrate my admiration and respect for the women who do not remain content to be at home but who seek personal fulfillment in daily life as artists and as women." And she makes it clear that that she's not going to quit with a master's. Asked if it were the end of her formal education, she quietly replied, "I hope not."
If at First . . . , Try Again
The spring edition of Towers Tidings, "The Beautiful Los Feliz Towers Newsletter," carries a report from a resident who volunteers as a creative writing tutor at Los Feliz Elementary School.
It concerns sixth-grader Jigna Petal's great expectations for her future. "When I grow up to be an adult," Jigna wrote, "my goal is to find a cure for cancer. If they already have one, then I'd like to be an interior decorator."
Taking Mom to the Prom
When her 17-year-old daughter asked her to sit down for a chat, Joanna Walker of North Hollywood thought "Gee, is it about grades? College?"
No. Christina Ann Saul, a senior at North Hollywood High School, just wanted to invite her mother to the school prom. And, for good measure, she also invited her grandmother, Zelma Walker, who will turn 75 soon.
Teachers and classmates were amazed; some laughed. Christina's counselor was not surprised; she congratulated Walker and said it was the kind of thing she'd expect of Christina.
Christina's point of view was that her mother, a single parent, had been with her for all the important events of her life. Why not the prom? And Christina's boyfriend, Christian Cushing-Murray, a sophomore and track athlete at UCLA, agreed.