Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Rights of a Pregnant Lady

Do pregnant women get treated differently than other, non-expectant women? Should they?

I often feel that they should be treated better, their bodies are going through a lot at the moment. Not to mention their emotions and thoughts running wild as they try to prepare for their child to be born.

Yesterday, I was on the Muni (public transportation for all you non-city folk). The car was pretty full when I got on so I was standing. I was fine with that, but I wished that any one of the three young guys sitting right in eye-line with my protruding belly would have offered me a seat. I wasn't feeling the best. I would have been so thankful. But they didn't. Not one of them even made eye contact.

Then a seat right behind me opened up. I noticed an elderly man in a well tailored suit eying it from across the way but he made no move to take it, so I did. As soon as I sat down, I noticed that he had started his way toward it, so I stood up and offered it to him. Either he didn't hear me or he ignored me . . . and then he gave me the evil eye and mumbled something under his breath as he walked away.

I could have chased him down and gotten his attention. I felt guilty for taking it. But at the same time, I was so glad to sit down, however briefly the rest of my ride was going to be. So I stayed.

Half the time, I want to wear a sign that announces my pregnancy so people might give me a seat. Sometimes I sit in the seats reserved for the disabled because although I know I'm not disabled, I'm bearing an extra few pounds and my back aches and my feet are swelling and I just might vomit if I don't. But then I get looks.

I know I don't look super pregnant right now, I'm not super pregnant. Honestly, when I really felt like I needed a chair was before I started to show at all. You know, during those rough first-trimester mornings. But I never said anything. I didn't want the first people I told to be strangers on the bus.

What do you all think - is it okay for pregnant women to sit in the seats meant for disabled? Should I be able to ask others to give up their seat for me on those rough days? Or should I get over it?
I don't want to come across as "pity me, the poor soon-to-be-mother" or like I deserve the royal treatment. I'm more curious what others really think. If pregnant women can ask for that type of kindness or not.

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