Grieving Mom Shares Humiliation of Returning Baby Items After Losing Her Child

Variety of baby carriages in kids mall

Unless you've experienced pregnancy loss, it's hard to ever imagine what grieving parents go through -- which is why we, as friends and loved ones, and even strangers, need to rally around moms and dads who've lost a baby. Sadly, this did not happen for Jessica Huchko, who delivered her stillborn son at 24 weeks, and had to undertake the sad task of returning baby items she'd purchased for her little boy. Her experience will make you see red -- because sometimes, business as usual is not the way to go.


The thought of waiting in line at a Babies 'R' Us to return the stroller and car seat purchased for a baby you'll never be able to take home is enough to leave any of us paralyzed with emotions. It pains me to even think about how this Connecticut mother of three felt in this moment, especially because her 1-year-old daughter was in tow. 

And yet, this was only the beginning.

"I have never, never ever, been so humiliated and filled with so much hurt by a company in my life," Jessica shared in her Facebook post, telling the story of how how she was forced to try to explain not once, but twice, why she was returning the stroller and car seat she'd happily bought a few months earlier.

She then asked, why are you returning them? I said, my son passed away a couple weeks ago and I cannot keep them. I could not help my emotions and started crying. She was obviously mortified for asking and continued to do the return. While we were standing there, many people had started to line up behind me. 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.

And it gets worse from there.


Mom says:

The manager was able to find the car seat in the system but only offered me about half of what I paid for it. Then she had to look up the double stroller online and see how much it was. She finally discovered after being there for about a half an hour that the items were not showing because they were discontinued. I had just bought these a month prior! So not only was that discomforting in itself! But the manager then looks at me and says she can only offer me 2 cents for the double stroller! 2 freaking cents. 2 CENTS!?!?!?! Are you kidding me???????


As you can only imagine, Jessica was absolutely horrified. She adds:

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?

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I wonder if the trauma of losing a child -- coupled with the poor timing of the baby items Mom no longer needed being discontinued -- ever dawned on this store manager?

Yes, there are store policies (Jessica says she didn't keep her receipt, because she didn't think something like this would happen), but this is cold.

Two cents for a stroller? Really?

I can't help but cringe at Jessica's experience, and think about all the other parents who've found themselves in situations just like this. Hopefully baby stores -- including this one -- will take note of this incident and find better ways to accommodate grieving parents.

In the sea of all the joyful expectant moms and dads heading into baby stores to put those barcode scanners to use, Jessica's story is a sad reminder not to forget those parents who feel they're taking an unthinkable walk of shame to return products after suffering a child loss.

Hearing what Jessica went through really makes me think about the people I know in my life who've suffered such an unimaginable loss like this -- and whether or not I did all I could to help. While the thought of returning baby items does make sense, the visual of a mother in mourning doing it herself brings me to tears.

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I'm thankful that Jessica shared her story as so many, who are going through similar situations, need to know they aren't alone.

And hopefully, we'll all do a little more to make such a difficult transition a little easier to bear.



Image via Aleph Studio/Shutterstock

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