Don’t worry; I’m keeping this one short and sweet but I did feel compelled to write something just in case I can help any fellow pregnant women out there who have to brave the zoo that is public transport. It can be a veritable war zone out there battling through harried commuters who are plugged into electronic devices striding determinedly down narrow walkways without a care in the world. This total disregard for the small human that you’re busily growing inside you can wind even the most placid of mamas-to-be up into a frenzied puddle of angry hormones but, here’s the thing: your pregnancy isn’t everyone’s first priority and how much can we really blame perfect strangers for not holding your impending bundle of joy in the forefronts of their mind?
Let’s take about the ‘giving up a seat’ issue on public transport. This is a tough one for people to navigate because there’s so much potential for social disaster. While we would love it if everyone on the tube could take regular glances around to check that there isn’t a pregnant woman heaving herself and her creaking vagina that feels heavy enough to drop right out of her in need of a seat, they’ve often got other shit on their mind. They could be reading, or asleep or just so knackered and out of it that they can’t even remember which stop they need to get off at.
Then there’s always the ‘is-she-isn’t-she-pregnant’ minefield that many people just want to stay the hell away from and I don’t blame them. While the ‘Baby on Board’ badges help a little with this, not everyone wears one and the last thing anyone considerate enough to give up their seats wants to do is offend someone who isn’t pregnant but may have just shoved a Byron Burger with an ice-cream chaser down their gob hole.
I see a lot of pregnant women get on the tube at rush hour only to tut and huff because there wasn’t a flurry of movement as everyone raced to offer them a seat. This doesn’t make them terrible and inconsiderate people – it just makes them human and a bit distracted. Let’s not vilify the general public for not prioritising our pregnancy over their own crazy lives.
Call me crazy but here’s a thought, pregnant ladies, why don’t you just ask for a seat? It’s really easy to do especially if you go straight to the person trying his or her luck in the priority seat. It may seem like a radical idea but if you simply say, “I’m sorry. Do you mind if I have that seat?” it’s going to take a special kind of cunt to say no to you on a packed train.
The same goes for getting help with buggies up stairs. Just ask. Same again when tackling long, long lines in the Ladies. “Would anybody mind if I jumped the queue? This baby feels like Michael Flatly river dancing on my bladder and I think we’d all appreciate the chance to avoid watching a grown woman piss her pants in public.” People are, in general, perfectly nice and reasonable if you just give them a chance.
Let’s stop being a bit ‘British’ about it. Put away the passive-agressive tutting/staring/sighing/tummy rubbing tactics and politely ask the general public to help you and your swollen extremities out. I will bet both my ovaries no one is ever going to say ‘no’ to you but if they do, take a picture and post it on every social media site available until their twattiness goes viral. That’ll learn them.