The Wows and Woes of Traveling While Pregnant in New York City
My train riding experience in New York City for the past 9 months being pregnant has been like an anthropological study in human behavior. And let me tell you, we need to do better people.
The way I’ve been treated by my fellow subway riders, honestly, has made me so disappointed in people BUT it has also made me so grateful for the few that have gone out of their way to be kind to me.
Give Up Your Seat to Pregnant Women…Because We Are Not Ok.
And I know what you’re thinking, “I got here first”, “I’m a woman, I shouldn't have to get up, a man should”, “If I didn’t make eye contact, she’ll think I didn’t notice that she’s pregnant”.
And know that you’re thinking this because I’ve thought all these same things too. But I feel terrible now that I’m on the other side. Please understand, that if you see a pregnant woman on the train, you have no idea how long and far she walked to get there. And we can use a breather!
So, if you’re not carrying 2 people, you already have an advantage and it won’t kill you to stand for a bit on your train ride.
I See You Looking At My Belly
Yea you sir! I see you.
On more than one occasion, I have been standing in a hot and crowded train, right in front of some guy sitting down, belly so big that it's right in his face and I catch him staring at my stomach.
So, I get up in his face and say, “Yes, I am pregnant, now are you going to keep looking or are you going to give up your seat?!”
Ok, so I don’t actually say this out loud, but in my mind, I do give them a good cussing.
Don’t stare unless you’re planning to give your seat to me
Shout Out to My People Looking Out For Me
I told you my experience has been an anthropological study, right? Well these are my findings…
It is very apparent who has and has not been kind to me while I’ve been pregnant. But I’m not going to acknowledge the selfish ones, so that I can focus solely on who’s been so kind.
My black brothers and sisters have been so good to me. I have had black men literally jump out of their seat to make way for me. Every time there is one near where I’m standing, they get right on up and allow me to sit.
Thank you Kings.
And even more so my black sisters, they always come through. They will be sitting in between two men, who should be gentlemen enough to get up, but they are their sister’s keeper and they give up their seat to me. I love my sisters for the care that they’ve shown. But isn’t that how we always do?
Thank you Queens.
You have no idea how much your small act is needed and does not go unnoticed. I pray a special blessing on each one of you.
One evening after work I was headed home on a very packed train. I sighed as I barely found a place to stand up. The train got moving and I saw out of my peripheral that someone maybe 5 feet away was trying to get my attention. I look up and there is a black woman sitting down in a corner seat by the window and she is motioning for me to come over to take her seat. Normally I would jump at the chance, but I was so exhausted and I didn’t have the energy it would take to climb over all the people to get over to her.
Well this woman was so tenacious in making sure that I got a seat that she had the lady sitting next to her (who was closer to me and easier to get to) get up and give her seat to me.
I was so relieved and thankful. But it didn’t end there…
The very next day after work, I got onto a packed train again and I’m holding on for dear life as the train is moving, while trying not to be squished by the people around me. And of course, there are a group of men sitting while myself and another woman are standing right in front of them (insert eye roll).
The train stops to let off passengers and the guy sitting in the middle seat in front of gets up to exit. The woman in front of me motions to sit down and I let her have it because I’m really in no condition to fight anyone for a seat. But as she turned to sit, I see her motioning to me. When I look down at her, it’s the exact same woman from the day before who was adamant about allowing me to sit.
I was so shocked that in a big city like this I would meet her again and once again she got up and gave me her seat.
This woman is heaven sent – my subway angel
I'm not sure this can be considered a blog post because it is more like a rant, but I want you to know that those of us that are carrying a child are tired. So, if you see us standing somewhere, whether we look uncomfortable or not. Assume that we are and please give up your seat.
Oh and for those who aren’t sure if a woman is pregnant or not, give up your seat anyway. Just don’t say “hey you pregnant lady, why don’t you take my seat!” and you'll be safe.