I travel on the NYC subway system almost daily. It's a crowded, dirty and angry place for the most part. If you're lucky enough to find a seat next to a smell-free, lean passenger it's a pretty good day. In contrast, there are several things that can turn the standard (meaning: crappy) train ride into a complete nightmare: "train traffic," a particularly rancid stench and music/performers/preachers when you are trying to read or have a headache. For me, the hands down worst is a pregnant woman with children, one of which is in a stroller, during rush hour.
It is impossible for a pregnant woman with children and a stroller to seamlessly manuever in and out of a subway cart, much less in and out of a subway station, much less during rush hour. Inevitably, this woman has put her pregnant self and her children in the hands of the good samaritans of New York City because it's impossible for her to manage alone. Apparently she believes in the generous spirit of all people, including the notably self-serving New Yorker. But, at a certain point, her optimism stops being sweet and crosses the line to abusive.
The kids are crying or screaming or throwing their snacks and crayons all over the train. Plus, they get first dibs to the seats, unless you're souless (which, by the way, accurately characterizes many train riders). The stroller is bruising every shin in a two foot radius. And the fact that the woman is pregnant means someone is either giving up a seat for her too or expecting karmic payback within the next 24 hours. And then there are the stairs in the subway stations. At least one stranger, sometimes two, must assist with the stroller on the stairs because prego mom should be avoiding heavy lifting and needs free hands to hold the loose children. Without fail, this chaotic trek to ground level will block, clog and further piss off everyone in the immediate vicinity.
My request to pregnant women and their children who use public transportation: But for true emergencies, don't abuse your fellow citizens during the lowest hour of their day, wait for non-commuter hours to travel. Please.