Name: Aisha Hamlin-Peacock
Age: 41 years old, having an over-40-baby and feeling it. Pregnancy at 40 is totally different than pregnancy at 28 and 34!
Profession: School Counselor at a New York City High School
Hobbies & Likes: I love to read, dance, jog/run on the boardwalk, hang out with my girlfriends, but most importantly, I love going to the beach during the summer time. I can spend the whole day there with my family. As a school counselor, I am on vacation during the summer and my kids know that summer time means hanging at the beach all day. I cannot wait to bring Baby Peacock along this summer!
Hometown: Far Rockaway, NY
Current City: Far Rockaway, NY. I have not been able to move away because I love living near the beach. I have lived here all my life and enjoy being able to run on the boardwalk, sit and meditate at times, or just sit by the water listening to the ocean waves.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU TO BE PREGNANT THIS TIME AROUND?
This pregnancy has been totally different from my other two. My children are 13 and 7 years old and I never thought I would be having another baby after 40. I thought that I would still be active with this pregnancy, which has not happened; well sort of. This is currently my last semester at Long Island University and I am majoring in Marriage and Family Therapy. My days go by pretty quickly, with little time to think about what I did for the day. I am up by 6 a.m. and out the door with my 7 year old by 7:45 a.m. After I drop her to school I am off to work in Queens as a School Counselor. My days often do not end until after 10:30 p.m. because I am either taking my 7 year old to tutoring, heading to internship or class in Brooklyn, or taking the girls to dance class on Friday nights.
I think my most frustrating nights are Wednesdays and Thursdays when I am riding the A train home from either Jay Street or Hoyt and Schemerhorn. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I understood that I wasn’t showing at all and people would not know that I was pregnant. Nowadays it is quite hard to miss a pregnant woman seven months along with an UP-STAND button on her jacket that states, “Growing a Human”. There have been times when I have made eye contact with men and women and they just continue to read or play with their phones as if they do not see me. Sometimes I do not mind standing, but there are the other times when having a seat is such a relief.
It saddens me that we as a society do not take better care of each other. We are so accustomed to turning a blind eye that we do not think about the effects this behavior has on our brothers and sisters. It is our responsibility to take care of each other.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE UP-STAND MOVEMENT?
I supported by buying a couple of pins. My classmate is also pregnant and rides the train to get back and forth to school and internship. As a little surprise to let her know that I was thinking about her, I gave her two pins from the movement, which she thought was very thoughtful and nice. I am hoping that she will eventually order some pins for her girlfriends and their support system. I also bought a pin for my husband and told him that I needed him to wear his pin in support of women in the city like myself who are not offered a seat on public transportation.
HOW HAS THE MOVEMENT IMPACTED OR HELPED YOU SO FAR?
I have always been one to give up my seat for pregnant women, disabled people and the elderly. This pregnancy has made me even more aware of those around me. My pin has made others aware and resulted in a little more kindness from them.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE?
I would love to see UP-STAND affiliated with more businesses, like Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Sears for example. It would be nice if they had parking closer to the door for pregnant women.
Unfortunately, priority seating on public transportation does not always go to those who need them, so maybe more visible advertisements on the buses and trains would bring about more awareness.
HOW CAN OTHER PEOPLE BEST SUPPORT YOU AS A PREGNANT WOMAN?
I think others can best support me as a pregnant woman by acknowledging my existence and being courteous. I don’t mind them asking me about my pin and how they can support the movement either - we will all encounter a pregnant woman at one point in time and could gift her a product!
To follow Aisha on social media, find her on Instagram @mspanama1. Aisha says, "It is our responsibility to take care of each other and to teach the next generation. As a school counselor...I never know the impact that I have on my student’s lives until they come back to visit me, send me a thank you text, or shout me out on FB." We're playing the long game too, and know the feeling. If she's been your counselor, shout her out and let her know the difference she's made in your life!