Last Sunday, Dale and I ventured out to Mothercare to pick up a few items (some maternity pads in preparation for my trip to the maternity ward; a wedge-shaped pillow to support my belly more comfortably in bed; and some breast pads to deal with my boobs which have suddenly sprung a leak!). It was a beautiful, sunny day and Mothercare isn’t far from where we live (under normal circumstances it would take less than 10 minutes for me to walk there, under current circumstances it takes more like 15), so we opted for a gentle saunter.
As you’re probably already aware, heat affects pregnant ladies – often adversely – and it really doesn’t help when there’s a complete lack of air conditioning in shops! Mothercare was swelteringly hot. And on top of that, something in the shop set Dale sneezing, so he decided to wait at the door for me while I joined the queue to pay for our purchases.
It was quite a long queue and I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable as I waited, but it wasn’t until I was next in line to be served that it suddenly hit me – I was going to pass out!
Now, those who know me know that I pass out as a matter of course, even when not up the stick, but I’ve been getting more and more dizzy spells lately, which I’d been told to expect. My only remedy is to get onto the ground as quickly as possible in order that, should I actually black out, I don’t have far to fall. So, I sat down rather abruptly on the shop floor with my head swimming and my vision blurring.
I can’t be the only pregnant woman who has ever taken a dizzy turn in Mothercare, surely? You’d have thought so from the reaction of the staff! It was actually my fellow customers that rallied round to make sure I was alright, while the staff carried on serving! The woman behind me crouched down beside me and asked if I was OK or needed any help, and a woman who was already being served turned and asked if I was with anyone, at which point I mentioned Dale was just outside the shop – she ran off to get him for me. It wasn’t until Dale was beside me and putting his cool hand to my brow that a staff member casually asked if I’d like her to bring me a cup of water, to which I replied, “Yes, please!” Once I had some water, her colleague mentioned there was a chair at Customer Service if I’d like to go and sit there – it was at the other end of the rather large store! She took the goods we were planning to buy and put them behind the counter for us – that was the extent of her help to us.
Fortunately, there was a small seat in the children’s shoe section just a few feet away and Dale was able to get me to it to sit down and recover for a while. The staff never bothered checking on me again.
Once I was feeling a little better, I decided to wait outside while Dale stood in line to pay for our goods. While he was on there, no fewer than three other customers came out and asked if I was OK now and one woman even offered to wait with me till Dale came out, adding that she was shocked at how the staff had handled things.
Dale emerged a few minutes later and, with the fresh air, I was feeling well enough to make the short, but very slow, walk home again. The whole situation made me wonder if Mothercare really show mothers any care at all?