When I was recently pregnant with our first child, my hospital introduced “Expectant Mothers” parking spots. The walk from the regular parking lot in the 115 degree Louisiana heat was enough to tire me out at nine months pregnant. So, I began to leave a little earlier for my doctor’s appointments so that I could grab one of these highly coveted parking spots.But, I never seemed to get there early enough to park there, and this one time I was so close, only to have the car in front of me pull in quickly. As I circled the lot looking for someplace else to park and passed by the “Expectant Mother” spots once more, I decided to pay close attention to who got out of the car. And to my surprise, it was a woman whose stomach was as flat as a board, and if she happened to be pregnant, she could have only been about four weeks. I couldn’t believe that I had to park at, what seemed like at the time, about a mile away while she leisurely strolled into the hospital.
I forgot about the incident and went to my doctor’s appointment, hoping that she would give me the good news that our little boy was ready to come out. But no, the doctor told me I wasn’t dilated at all, and I would probably have him well past my due date. So as I waddled my way down to the pharmacy and waited for my prescription for prenatal vitamins, the woman who had so rudely snatched up the parking spot that definitely should have been mine, sat down next to me. She struck up a conversation with me and asked me when I was due, what we were having, the name, and other common questions for a pregnant woman. But when I asked her when she was due, she looked at me with an angry face and told me that she wasn’t pregnant and what would make me think so. I ripped into her that I had thought that since she parked in the “Expectant Mother” parking spot that she was expecting as well. She told me that she was going to be late for an appointment and needed the spot. When I told her that I was late for my appointment because I had to waddle in 115 degree heat from the very back of the parking lot because she took the last spot, she just looked at me and said “Oh well.”
At that moment, I could have called for the rest of my pregnant comrades to come and help me teach this woman a lesson, and we could have gotten away with it too, because we could have blamed it on our hormones. But, instead I let it go and just vented to my husband about what a horrible person this woman was. Later on, months after we had our beautiful boy, I saw this woman again at the hospital, but this time she was pregnant! Recognizing me, she came up and apologized for what she had did to me that day, knowing now what it was like to have to waddle in the Louisiana heat while she watched other woman who were not pregnant, and even one time a man park in those parking spots.
She learned her lesson, but there are still many others out there who still take advantage of these parking spots. If they were actually illegal to park in, like handicap spots are, and got people a ticket, we would definitely see less of these violations. So next time that you see one of these spots and are tempted to take it, think about this story.