Recently when at a local shopping center with my 2 children aged 6 and 10, I came across a young woman who was extremely pregnant and looking distressed. Upon asking if she was alright or needed any help, she replied that her waters had just broken!
Sending my kids to a play area (only a few meters away and in sight at all times) I helped the woman to a bench and went to a shop to ask for security (who must have first aid training and may be able to help) and a cleaner to come down. After talking with the lady (Who I will call R) I found that her husband had recently passed away in a car wreck and her baby was her first.
Security called for an ambulance and arranged for R’s car to be kept safe until someone could collect it for her. They couldn’t have been more helpful.
However, the cleaner arrived and immediately started making snide remarks about pregnant women, single mothers and the extra work that R was causing him! As if R wanted to go into labor in public.
As he was complaining R’s contractions started and came on hard and fast. I asked if there was anywhere R could go for some privacy until the ambulance got here. The hospital was 35 minutes away and I was told (and this is a direct quote), “If she wants privacy she should just go home.” If she could I dare say she would have!
However the contractions were 2 minutes apart and I was quietly asking the security officer if there were any doctors nearby that could help.
Poor R was facing the likelihood of giving birth in public, in a shopping center and with no one qualified to help and a cleaner who had then started to yell at her for making a mess (unintentional as it was) and threatening what he would do if she, “…had that little bastard there and causes more work!”
Fortunately security took the cleaner away before anything else could be said (or done to him be some irate passers-by, who just kept passing by R). The ambulance arrived and took R to the hospital where she safely gave birth to a lovely little girl. I have received a lovely thank you letter from not only R but her parents as well thanking me for being the only person who stopped to help R when she really needed it. I am still asking myself, “Why I was the only one?” 0608-11