I’m 21 weeks’ pregnant and there’s absolutely no denying that I’m pregnant, not fat. I have a sticking-out bump and the rest of me, so far, is pretty much untouched by baby weight.
But, up until now, not one person has offered me their seat on the train, leaving me in a huddle at the end of the carriage being jostled by everyone getting on and off the train.
I haven’t really minded as my journey is only 10 minutes, but it’s when the train’s delayed and I’m standing for ages, that I really can’t believe that no-one has even offered. I also wondered who would be the first person. Would it be a woman who had been pregnant and sympathised? Or would it be a man who just thought, I’m perfectly capable of standing and it must be uncomfortable carrying that weight around?
As it turned out it was a man. He spotted me and without hesitation stood up and said: ‘Excuse me, would you like a seat?’ I was very surprised, but so impressed. Sir, I salute you. As it turned out there was a spare seat further up, so I thanked him and shuffled up the train to take the other seat. He could go to work knowing he’d done a good deed and hadn’t even had to stand in the end anyway. And I went to work, grinning, thinking what a very nice man he was and how that event must mean I’m officially pregnant.
The other day I had to get a bus from work to the hospital for an appointment. I hadn’t done the journey that way before as I usually go from home, so I wasn’t exactly sure where to get a bus from or which direction I needed to be going in.
I spotted the bus I thought I wanted outside Waterloo station, with the doors open, the driver sitting in it and a couple of his mates lurking in the doorway having a chat. I poked my head through the door and asked the driver if the bus was going to Chelsea and if it was leaving soon.
He replied, ‘Yes, in a few minutes.’
I said, ‘Oh, can I get on then?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘You have to wait at the bus stop,’ and pointed about 10 paces up the road where I saw a couple of people waiting. I hadn’t noticed the stop, so I just thanked him and went to join the queue at the stop and thought nothing of it.
An old man at the bus stop said:
‘Did you just try and get on that bus?’
‘Yes, I didn’t see the bus stop…’
‘And he didn’t let you get on the bus?’
‘And you’re six months’ pregnant?! Look at the size of you! And he wouldn’t let you on the bus two minutes early? I’m a war veteran. I fought for this country, but I’m ashamed of it when people behave like that. How dare he. How dare that bus driver not let you on!’
Just then the bus drew up and the old man put me on the bus first. As he got on behind me, he started shouting at the bus driver: ‘How dare you not let this lady on the bus! She’s pregnant, anyone can see that! It wouldn’t have hurt you to just have let her on, would it?! You should be ashamed of yourself!’
Embarrassed, I shuffled to the back of the bus, after thanking the man for his help. The bus driver shrugged and ignored him and eventually the man settled into a seat at the front. But I have to say I was amazed that he’d gone out of his way to stand up for a complete stranger, and how thoughtful and considerate he was. Good for him. What a nice man.
I’d like to know what you think. Should people give up their seats for pregnants on public transport? Would you?