Struggling with the emotional trauma and loss as a result of a miscarriage is one of the hardest things anyone can experience. This is why it’s especially helpful for women and families dealing with pregnancy loss to get all the support and understanding they need. This is also why it’s absolutely awful when one woman had to explain herself at a Babies “R” Us.
Jessica Huchko miscarried at 24 weeks–naturally, she and her husband have been going through a rough time. Of course, no one ever thinks about all the gifts and/or baby items that need to be returned after a pregnancy loss–considering it’s the last thing on anyone’s mind. But this is exactly what Huchko dreaded when she went to Babies “R” Us to return all the items. She and her husband had bought a double stroller and carseat from the store about a month earlier.
Her visit was less than stellar. A sales associate asked her if there was anything wrong with the items she was returning–which is a normal question–however, when Huchko said that there wasn’t, the woman at the register continued to prod. It was then that Huchko had to explain that she had lost her pregnancy a few weeks earlier. Clearly, this moment didn’t need to happen–which she wrote about in a post on Facebook:
“Unfortunately we learned that my son had passed away. I had to make the dreaded trip to your store soon after my loss to return my purchases. I never expected that my son would not survive so I did not save the receipt.
I was so emotional I could not stop crying. I became nervous now that so many people were watching me cry while she was looking up the product. She must have scanned the items over 20 times and could not find them in the system anywhere.”
As if that’s not bad enough, the sales associate couldn’t find Huchko’s products in the Babies “R” Us system, so a manager had to get involved. Again, Huchko, who was with her 1-year-old daughter, was made to explain why she was returning her items. After finding the products, the manager was only able to offer Huchko half price for the $80 carseat and two WHOLE cents for the $179 double stroller. The mom explained how humiliating this experience was:
“I was so upset and frustrated with this place I started hysterically crying while everyone was watching me. I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I was still in complete mourning of losing my son and now this? I grabbed my store credit and ran out of the store.”
Babies “R” Us has since offered Huchko a refund, and issued this statement of apology:
“We are deeply sorry for her experience in our store, and more importantly for her loss. The store leadership has provided coaching to the team members to help ensure similar situations are handled with more care in the future.”
I hope this horrible incident that lacks all sensitivity serves as an example to other businesses (and individuals!) when they deal with someone going through a particularly hard time, such as pregnancy loss.