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Friday, 16 March 2007

Pregnancy

Yesterday morning at North Dulwich station, waiting for the train to take me to London Bridge, I was reminising about when I was based full-time at London Bridge. I was pregnant there with both of my darling babies, Max and Freya.

The men at North Dulwich Station are all so very well dressed, proper business men, city types, they would not look out of place in bowler hats. Not a single one of them would ever stand up to allow me to sit down even when I was obviously heavily pregnant. I remember the discomfort of that daily train journey so vividly.

I was terribly unwell during my pregnancies. I never experienced any of that glowing skin and shiny hair business that the midwives promised. I got no sleep, was permanently nauseated and running to the toilet, and had bleeding gums from the time I conceived until delivery. My breath must have smelled like the floor of a hamster's cage.

When pregnant with Freya, my pelvis started to come apart at about five months and I had great difficulty walking. That was just the worst thing of all. Getting down the stairs onto the platform at North Dulwich train station was more painful than labour (I had planned caesareans afterall), and took an age.

Black men and women would always stand up and let me sit down, but never the Giles or Keith's in their expensive suits.

One morning I was so anaemic, exhausted and uncomfortable standing on the train, that I actually passed out. I collapsed on the floor - with a crash.

When I regained consciousness there was a smelly old tramp, kneeling by me and stroking my face gently saying;

"Never mind love, it happens to us all".

A lovely older african lady helped me to her seat, and told him I would be OK. They were so kind - guardian angels. I remember thinking:

"I want Max to be a proper kind gentle man like that sweet tramp", and he is!

Pregnancy is the pits.

9 comments:

Scruffy Mummy said...

That was so my experience when I was pregnant - only once a suited business guy offered up his seat, all the other times it was young black lads. One time, I was on the 25 bus route which is always extremely packed. Standing up were myself pregnant, an older Somali man who was clearly very ill and had asked someone standing next to him where the stop for the hospital was and a grey haired pensioner woman. A seat came free and the Somali man offered it to the pensioner. She said no, you need it more than me and he gratefully sat down. She then said to me she was surprised no one had given up their seat. We were coming up to my stop on Cornhill and I said in a loud voice that I agreed with her, that it was disgusting, here she a pensioner was standing and that I was 5 months pregnant as well and no one ever gave up their seat for me either. And then I swept off the bus! I think someone must have offered that lovely pensioner a seat then - but people in London are so rude and selfish sometimes.

Heidi said...

ditto here - young, fit and healthy men just kept staring at my enormous bump without moving a muscle. I normally just shouted at them when I got on the tube e.g. 'which one of you young healthy men is going to get up and give me your seat???!!'. Never failed to work.

Pregnancy IS the pits.

dulwichmum said...

Wow, Heidi I never thought of that!

AntiScam said...

I can only apologise for men in general. Pregnancy sounds so uncomfortable.

east said...

This saddens but doesn't surprise me. I blame the parents, Mrs Thatcher...and the type of expensive school which trains boys to be competitive and not considerate. I remember offering a heavily pregnant woman a seat on the cirlce line once. I was amazed at the profuseness of her thanks -- for doing something which I thought would be completely normal. Sadly, we English now need new immigrants, not to do low-paid cleaning jobs, but to teach us manners.

Keef said...

Hey DM, not all "Keith's" are bad.

Giles however...... ;o)

dulwichmum said...

Darling Mr Keef,

I would not offend you for the world, I shall change his name immediately ... to Peter. Sorry my lovely.

Anonymous said...

Erm...is nobody else offended by the racism in this post?? Like its a suprise that black people have manners??? Why not?? Because we are so primitive...!?! Dear lord...your blog can be so entertaining but so utterly offensive!

Charlotte said...

Anonymous,

What racism are you talking about !? I think this entry is saying how rude and unhelpful people can be and the gratitude felt from the help DM got in time of need.