Jessica Huchko and her husband have three girls, so they knew how to prepare for a new arrival. Still, the news that they were going to have a boy left them feeling “amazed and excited, and completely thrilled!” And like most who are expecting, they began making preparations for their new arrival.
[Scroll Down for Video]
But if you’ve read the title of this article, you will know it ends sadly. Huchko miscarried at 24 weeks.
With no baby on the way, all of the new baby gear began to get in the way–emotionally. So Huchko began the painful process of returning things they weren’t going to need.
She’d bought a stroller and a car seat from Babies “R” Us. “Every time I would see them, I would either get mad or upset. I needed them out of the house.” Even though she didn’t have the receipt, she took them back to the store where she’d bought them, and expected to have no difficulty with the return.
“I have been in many situations where I have not had a receipt and only received store credit or even half of what I paid for. It is not uncommon. I knew that going in.”
But the cashier handling the return wasn’t exactly tactful.
“She asked me four times in different ways to get it out of me why I was returning the items. Finally I had to just say it and after trying to avoid it I finally let it out. And I started crying. She was mortified and I became mortified for her. So now my anxiety and frustration is building. After a long process of trying to look up the items it builds up more and more.”
The cashier, unsure of how to handle the situation, called in a manager for support.
The manager located the car seat in the system, and offered Huchko half of its retail price. That would seem insulting enough for something that hadn’t been used, but it gets worse.
The manager couldn’t find the stroller in the system. Huchko had originally paid $179 for it.
“She then looked up the item and what it was worth on the website on her laptop and it said it was two cents. So she said that and I repeated to her, ‘So you are offering me two cents???’ She shrugged.”
Huchko left the store. She returned to her car, and strapped her daughter in her car seat. Once she’d calmed down, she drove home.
“It just needs to be said that as a store that focuses on BABY items, I cannot believe that a policy has not already been instilled! [sic]”
Huchko is now on a crusade to raise awareness of miscarriage. Stores like Babies R Us that deal with expectant mothers should have policies in place, and train employees appropriately in order to avoid stigmatizing parents who are already grieving.
“I would love if they had a specific policy in place where someone could either call or go online and alert the store somehow of the loss. You can be brought to a private area in the store to do your returns … no questions asked. Be more sympathetic and understanding that [it] is extremely difficult to bury a child.”
Huchko is not alone, either.
“We are an ocean full of people that do not usually speak out. For obvious reasons it is too painful.”