I had one of the easiest, most pleasant pregnancies in the history of humanity. I didn't get morning sickness, no crazy all-day nausea. My hair was fabulous, my skin honest-to-God glowed. However, the one ailment that I did endure during my uneventful 40 weeks was the crazy swelling that my poor feet suffered throughout--I'm talking full-blown empanada feet that were so heavy and bloated, I had difficulty walking the four yards from my desk to the printer.

Even though I was feeling good otherwise, many mornings, and especially in the afternoons after work, I would have killed for a seat on the subway or the bus. I thought it was going to be easy to get people to get out of their seats as soon as they saw my bump. I have to admit, that's one of the perks that I was stoked about when I first found out I was pregnant: A seat on the morning R-train uptown guaranteed every morning? SCORE!

Oh the harsh realities though of commuting with a baby bump, though…

Before I was pregnant, I was one of those commuters who would get up for pregnant women and elderly people on the train or buses, just because that was the courteous thing to do. I thought it would be that easy once I got pregnant myself, but that was absolutely not the case. 

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You have no idea how many times I had to stand on the subway train all the way from work, only to have the same situation repeat itself on the bus that I had to take to New Jersey. In the evenings after a long day at the office, there was nothing more painful for my pregnant feet! But I didn't feel right just straight-up asking people to get up, especially because I had such an easy pregnancy. It was still upsetting to see people completely avoid my gaze on the train or flat-out look in the other direction. Mostly men I have to say! All of a sudden, everyone was completely engrossed in their iPods, books, magazines, and cell phones--even though in New York City we have no signal in the tunnels of the subway!

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What gives me hope today though? The fact that sometimes, even when the train was packed tighter than a can of sardines or the bus was standing-room only, it was the women more often than not who stood in solidarity with me and gave me their seat. I think they just intrinsically understood how difficult it was to have to carry a child inside, all while trying to commute to work. It's something I didn't quite get before, that I understand first-hand today with my new-found adoration for pregnant women. I know that from now on, I will always, always, always give up my seat to any baby bumps on my commute. And for those of you who don't because you're looking at your phones on the subway--I am so on to you!

When you were pregnant, were people rude to you too? How did you handle it?

Image via Thinkstock

About the author

Yuliana is the Assistant Managing Editor of Mamás Latinas and a mom of two, a toddler boy and baby girl. She was born in Medellín, Colombia and raised in New Jersey.

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jstela

That is so true about the nyc transit system riders. The men in this city are far from men! The funny thing is I watch women do it too! Very few people are willing to give up their seat for anyone pregnant or not (elderly, handycapped). I also always give up my seat but have yet to have the favor returned. You know its bad when an elderly lady that may need the seat more than me is the one offering it up. 

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