Tales of the T

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jennifyr78. Show jennifyr78's posts

    Tales of the T

    I wanted to start a thread to talk/vent about our adventures of riding the T (or bus or commuter rail) while pregnant. 

    Recently (mid-October), the MBTA announced a "Kindness" campaign to help promote courtesy while riding public transit.  Specifically, one of the tenets is to give up your seat for the elderly or a pregnant woman.  Considering I can count on one hand the number of people to offer me a seat in my 8 months of pregnancy, I was looking forward to the release of this campaign and hoping behaviors would change. 

    http://bostoncommutes.blogspot.com/2011/10/courtesy-countsmbta-launches-ad.html

    Unfortunately, it's not November 1st and I have yet to see a poster or collateral on this campaign (which actually look pretty nice, based on the pictures in the article).  And, I haven't noticed any changes in my fellow riders either. 

    2 weeks ago, I was riding on the Green Line and a blind woman boarded the train with her guide dog.  There were several people already standing, and all seats were taken.  I glanced around and no one budged.  From the middle of the train where I was seated, I got up and asked the woman if she wanted my seat - at 33 weeks pregnant.  She declined, since she was only going one stop, but I hope I put some of the people around me to shame. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jennifyr78. Show jennifyr78's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    This one happened to me yesterday, but is an interaction with T employees, not fellow riders. 

    I left work and was rushing to make my  commuter rail train. I thought I might have to pee, but figured I would miss my train if I did, and thought I could make it to North Station and even use the handy train toilet if I had to. Lately I've had the urge to pee when I stand up, but it generally passes after I've been walking or standing a while, so I didn't think much of it.

    I was waiting on the train platform at Arlington (and waiting, and waiting) and couldn't see another car coming down the tunnel. At that point, I knew I REALLY had to go, so I headed back up the stairs to the main platform where there are two restrooms. The women's room was locked, and I thought maybe the attendant had to let you in. There were two T employees talking by the turnstiles, and I rushed up to them and desperately asked if I could use the restroom. The woman was pretty rude and informed me that they were "not for public use". I clutched my 8-month pregnant belly and sadly said "oh" (that's all I could get out) before the tears came - I couldn't help it. She said "there's one at Haymarket" and turned away. I was frantically trying to figure out if I could make it back to work or Haymarket without having an accident. The man talking with her grabbed his keys and said "come with me" and led me to the bathroom. As we were walking over, the woman inexplicably kept shouting at him to open the men's room, not the women's room, and he shouted back "but she's a woman" and opened the ladies room door for me. I don't know if she was trying to protect her toilet from the bad pregnant germs or if she thought I was going to deliver in there or what. 

    For some reason, the tears kept coming once inside, and I was just so grateful to the nice man for letting me go. It was this strange sensation of feeling utterly helpless, vulnerable, and a little psycho for bursting into tears, along with embarrassment for even getting to that point of needing to go that bad.

    I am so thankful that the male T employee extended that courtesy to me in my time of need. 

    Of course, after all that, I DID end up missing my train. Lesson learned: never dismiss an urge to use the restroom again!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from pittftw. Show pittftw's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    A few days ago I was riding the Green line, which was very crowded at rush hour. At 27 weeks pregnant, no one offered me a seat, and several people had the nerve to push right by my protruding pregnant belly to move down the train. Excuse me?!? Can you not show a little courtesy?!? I am not one who like her belly touched by friends, let alone shoved around by rude strangers.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I had my daughter 28 years ago.  I worked up to 2 weeks before she was born and carried in the summer. I was offered a seat twice.  Both times by a woman.  I always offer the elderly and pregnant woman a seat but I notice it is pretty much always a woman who does that.  If I am sitting next to a young person, I tell them to get up. One of the nice things about getting older : )

    P.S. There were no crackberries, cell phones then.  Just really oblivous people and of course those that made a point of not looking at you.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    A few days ago I was riding the Green line, which was very crowded at rush hour. At 27 weeks pregnant, no one offered me a seat, and several people had the nerve to push right by my protruding pregnant belly to move down the train. Excuse me?!? Can you not show a little courtesy?!? I am not one who like her belly touched by friends, let alone shoved around by rude strangers.
    Posted by pittftw


    Not for nothing, but if you'd moved into the train yourself you wouldn't have people pushing past you. People need to move in. And if they were pushing against your pregnant belly then you were facing the wrong way -- into the aisle.

    I was pregnant too, and I know that it can be tough. But people aren't paying that much attention to each other on the train. They're in their own worlds and most of them probably don't realize you're pregnant, particularly if you're wearing a coat. If you need a seat, ask for one.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I was on the train once when a woman gave birth...It was horrible! 

    I agree with Lemon if you ask for a seat people are normally happy to give them up.  I think a lot of time people are in a zone, reading, listening to music, etc and are not fully aware of whats going on around them.  With both my pregnancy's there were times no one offered and I sucked it up, other times I felt like I was going to be sick standing and would ask for a seat.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I was almost always offered a seat. Usually by a woman, but often by men as well. I had a winter baby but I did a lot of belly-rubbing and beatific smiling, so people knew I was pregnant. Also, I looked like a tick.

    I was very active in my pregnancy so standing on the T didn't bother me -- I usually commuted by bike to work, so it felt kind of funny to be biking twelve miles in the snow with people screaming obscentities at me one day and then be a fragile flower who can't stand up on her own the next. But in the last couple weeks I was grounded by a series of snowstorms and forced onto public transportation. I found it very hard to balance while standing on a moving bus, and I had horrible leg cramps and contractions. I felt like people should know that and offer me a seat, and I felt very bad for myself if that didn't happen. At one point I screamed at the entire bus to give me a seat already. Hormones. But I have a bad tendency to self-pity. In retrospect, if I'd just asked for a seat instead of getting huffy and stink-eyed it would have been better. I love giving up my seat and I can tell other people do too-- they look really proud of themselves. But sometimes they need to be asked.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    I hope to teach my son to one day bring courtesy back.
    Posted by crackersandcheese


    Maybe he can collaborate with Justin Timberlake. Remember what a great job he did bringing sexy back?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from crackersandcheese. Show crackersandcheese's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I took a mass pike express bus to work my entire pregnancy (including the morning and afternoon of the day I went into labor) and can count on one hand the number of times someone offered me a seat. When it did happen it was always a woman. I honestly think people just don't pay attention. Everyone has a Blackberry, iPhone, Kindle, etc. these days and they are just oblivious.

    I got over the fact that I wasn't going to be offered a seat and it stopped bugging me after awhile, but what used to really drive me nuts was the intensity in which people at my bus stop would rush to get on the bus before me. Wouldn't you at least let the pregnant lady on first so she would have a greater chance of getting a seat?! And I know they knew I was pregnant because I saw them every day and many of them would blatantly stare at my belly as we stood there waiting.

    I had a late December baby so I always wondered if things would have been different had I not been wearing a winter coat. I will say that just when I had pretty much declared chivalry dead, a week before I had the baby a man offered me a hand to help me climb a snow pile to get onto the bus. I was flabbergasted, which I think is kind of sad. I hope to teach my son to one day bring courtesy back.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    KT - seriously?!?  I need to hear that story.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    Crackers and Cheese, it wouldn't have made a difference. I had my DD in late August and was rarely offered a seat.

    It's not so much that I wasn't capable of standing, but I feared for my belly getting bumped and it made me want to sit down to protect the belly and give it some space. I swore to myself that if I could just get seats during my pregnancy, I would never sit down on the T again. I now I often stand just because I can now.

    I do remember screaming "DON'T SQUASH my BELLY!" on a very crowded train and that really seemed to work :)

    I feel for you Leila, one of the reasons my midwife put me on bedrest a couple of weeks before my baby was because of my anxiety about the train (but mostly it was the pre-eclampsia :) ).
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Leila32. Show Leila32's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I'm due tomorrow, still working and still taking the T and I have been offered a seat once during my entire pregnancy (by a man).  I could stand for most of my pregnancy, but these last several weeks it's just too hard to stand for so long.  It's been easier getting a seat now because I go in to work so early and I've been leaving early to beat the rush hour.  I doesn't so much bother me that people don't offer seats, I'll get one somehow if I really need one, but it does bother me that people shove past me to be the first on the train. 

    DH started driving me to work this week so I only have to take the T one way...the redline breaks down so much it's my worst fear to go into labor on the train.

    The T staff has been nice...one man held the train for me on 2 mornings when he saw me "running" to catch it. 

    There have been some interesting comments made to me while waiting for the train.  One man (who smelled like pure gasoline) walked by me the other day, looked at my stomach, yelled "BAM!" and jumped backwards about 3 feet like the sheer size of my belly was that shocking.  I didn't want to encourage him, but I couldn't help but laugh at his foolishness.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I commuted into Boston until the day before i gave birth. People rarely offered me a seat but whenever i asked, several people would usually jump up at once to offer me their seat. I agree a lot of times that people are so self absorbed that they don't even think to check all of the people around them to see if they are pregnant, or have another physical condition that would make standing difficult. If you think its bad when you are pregnsnt, just wait until you attempt to take the T with an infant, a diaper bag and all of your own stuff. Fun fun.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    Jenn -- I saw one of the posters from that campaign on a bus, something about "Crowd waits patiently for passengers to exit train." So far I've only been offered a seat once, by a woman old enough that I would have offered HER a seat. I've definitely been in need of a seat before, but I don't feel comfortable asking anyone to give theirs up. Part of it's sheepishness, but I also don't want to presume that anyone can stand any more than they presume I can...

    I am a master of passive-aggressive belly rubbing, grimacing, showing my lack of balance, etc., so clearly people either don't care or aren't paying attention to those around them. That is my biggest public transportation pet peeve. I've commuted on the MBTA for six years and I manage to read/listen to music/zone out, etc. while still remaining aware of basics like offering seats to those who need them, moving into the train and -- for some reason this annoys me more than anything -- moving over to the right on escalators if I'm standing.

    That said, with regard to pregnant women, there's also the fear of offense. Before I was pg, I was careful about when I offered my seat to a woman I thought was -- there's nothing worse than basically telling someone you think she's pregnant when she's not. Of course, there are plenty of times when you'd be a moron to doubt (see: passive aggressive grimacing and belly-rubbing; Lemon's comment that she "looked like a tick" -- lol).

    There are few topics I like b****ng about more than the T, and it just gets better the grumpier and pregnant-er I get :-).
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    PS - Jenn, I felt SO bad for you reading your story of trying to get to a bathroom! How awful of that woman to brush you off, but so glad the guy stepped up and showed some mercy.

    I haven't had quite that level of emergency experience yet, but DH and I were taking a walk around Lake Quannapowitt the other day and I realized I can no longer make it more than halfway without a pit stop. We stopped at the gas station at the top of the lake and the guy told me we had to buy something to use the bathroom because people had vandalized it. Sticking out my belly and looking desperate, asking him if I really looked like I would do the same had no effect, so we bought a pack of gum (really, I just resisted on principle). DH won him over while I was in the bathroom somehow, saying how "It's tough being pregnant." I'm 22 weeks pg, yet DH still manages to charm people and garner more sympathy than I do :-).
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chiclet831. Show Chiclet831's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    That said, with regard to pregnant women, there's also the fear of offense. Before I was pg, I was careful about when I offered my seat to a woman I thought was -- there's nothing worse than basically telling someone you think she's pregnant when she's not. Of course, there are plenty of times when you'd be a moron to doubt (see: passive aggressive grimacing and belly-rubbing; Lemon's comment that she "looked like a tick" -- lol). 
    Posted by Arcain

    This happened to me! I was standing on the T with my one bag and sneakers on and a girl about my age offered me her seat. I was mortified! Time for some situps I guess!


     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    If you think its bad when you are pregnsnt, just wait until you attempt to take the T with an infant, a diaper bag and all of your own stuff. Fun fun.
    Posted by rama8677

    The indifference you experience when you are "with child" in utero becomes outright resentment and hostility when you are with your child once it's out.  I get that strollers and big bags aren't ideal, and I know that some people aren't the most savvy of T travellers, but I was always as uber-considerate of others as I could be and I still have had trouble with people rolling their eyes over their blackberries at my kid's presence. 
    And the *&%^ing green line has got to be one of the worst things on the planet for a stroller. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I read about this in the paper! I think she was mentally ill.

    I just want to say that I think we can all be more respectful to and considerate of each other -- on the T and elsewhere. I think that pregnant ladies and parents with small children should get preferential treatment because although we won't all be parents we were all babies! And I think the T should use the designated wheelchair area when there are no wheelchair people on board. And they should always let strollers on the back door -- put a card dinger back there -- instead of making people board at the front and then screaming at them to move to the back, or making them board at the back and then leave the baby to come up front and pay. Public transportation is good for the environment and serves the poorest and most vulnerable among us; ridership should not be discouraged for those who need it the most.

    However, if you are riding the T every day, scowling and glaring and grimacing at people for not giving you a seat, and still nobody gives you a seat, you may want to consider the fact that what you're doing isn't working. Maybe nobody notices your belly because they're so confused about why this strange lady is glaring and grimacing at them. As women, we have to learn to ask for the things we want, instead of waiting for someone to give it to us. And if asking doesn't work, demand. You can bet that if men got pregnant they'd be demanding seats. There'd probably be laws enforcing it.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    KT - seriously?!?  I need to hear that story.
    Posted by poppy609


    Oh it was horrible!  A woman (wearing a dress) was standing holding the bar and all of a sudden you her a thud and the baby fell to the floor.  Everyone basically went into emergency/hysterical mode, called 911, tried to help her.  She simply picked the baby up off the floor, asked for some newspaper to cover the blood "so no one would slip" and grabbed back onto the hand bar.  Obviously she was on drugs or something, when we got to JFK/Umass (redline) there were police waiting to help her.  She got off the train and ran up the stairs to flee.

    I remember I got to work late and told a co-worker that they'd never believe what happened.  They laughed and said if you over slept just say so because it was so unbelievable.  Once it hit the news everyone believed me!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    Reading these stories make me so happy that I have never stepped foot on the T! 

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from jennifyr78. Show jennifyr78's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    Oh my gosh, KM, your escalator story sounds awful!  I can't believe no one even asked if you were okay. 

    (and apparently my computer thinks it's an hour earlier as well)

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    I don't ride the T anymore, so maybe things have gotten worse.  On the commuter rail, people gave up their seat for me all the time, which was nice because I had the worst swollen feet and ankles.  Seriously.  I couldn't even wear flip flops at the end they were so bad.  But the silver line was another story completely.  Not that I minded.  I remember being about five months pregnant and there was this woman there who was probably close to the end and she looked miserable.  I ended up giving her my seat because I thought she was going to pass out.  When she realized I was pregnant, too, she got so embarrassed and tried to give it back, but I wouldn't let her.  Someone finally offered up theirs to me, but by that time we were at South Station and I didn't care any more. 

    I don't mind someone not giving me their seat. I'm a grown up and I can ask if I really need it.  I had a bad, scary incident where a woman rushing up the escalator knocked me over and I fell on my bump while I was about six months pregnant.  At that point, it was obvious I was pregnant and not one person offered to help me up.  I was in tears, I was bleeding from hitting my chin on the escalator step, and I was weighed down by my bag.  Not a single person even asked if I was all right.

    I stopped riding the T a month or so later.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    In Response to Re: Tales of the T:
    This thread is all funky to me; posts are out of order.
    Posted by medfordcc



    All the threads are screwed up-looking to me. I can't take much more of these bugs.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    This thread is all funky to me; posts are out of order.

    I am particularly shocked by the story of the T employee not letting you use the bathroom.  That's awful!  And kind of surprising, because I found people (especially women) to be really sympathetic about the bathroom situation when I was pregnant.  And don't worry about crying -- it's cathartic.

    Here is a good reason to ask flat out for a seat -- my husband is probably one of the people on a blackberry not giving you a seat, but I swear he's not a jerk!  I nag him about trying to keep an eye out, but I know full well that he is lost in his own world.  He really doesn't see you -- he's ridden through his own bus stop multiple times.  I know it stinks to have to ask, but if you do ask, he will give you his seat, plus come home all happy about it.  :)
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Arcain. Show Arcain's posts

    Re: Tales of the T

    Lemon, you're totally right, and I do hope if I find myself in real need of a seat, I'll suck it up and ask. I'm naturally shy about stuff like that, so it would take a lot, but I haven't ridden the T in a week and I swear I've doubled in size since then, so maybe there's hope for me yet. As for the grimacing and glaring, I meant that kind of tongue-in-cheek. In reality, I just mope and feel grumpy (oh so helpful, I know...).

    Medford, good point, and I can guarantee my DH is the same way (the riding through his own stop sounds very familiar :-). Now that I think of it, DH and I used to ride the T together every day, and I was always the one giving up my seat for people, not because he's a jerk, but b/c he had no idea.

    KM - That is absolutely horrible! I don't blame you for not riding after that.

    Agreed on the wacky post order -- hopefully it'll be fixed once Daylight Savings happens?
     
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