Sean came to me, his face was one of resignation, “Can you grab my headlamp?”
I dashed to the kitchen, you know, like 39+week pregnant are wont to do, and snagged the headlamp from the drawer of the table in our kitchen, the kitchen that is just three light fixtures and the trim around one window from being completed. Sean was waiting for me upstairs, he was kneeling in front of a wall.
I looked at him and then at the wall. He was directly in front of the small access panel to the plumbing of our upstairs bathroom, the only bathroom with a shower.
Shit. Fuck. Of fucking course.
“What are you thinking?” I asked after my silent homeowner prayer.
“Honey, I think we have a leak. Can you run the water?” He was calm, eerily so.*
I tiptoed into the bathroom and turned on the water, all the while holding my breath.
I knew as surely as the baby kicked within me that the leak was back. The bathroom, and in fact all the plumbing in the house, had been blighted at best since the day we bought it. I watched the slump of his shoulders and felt the tension in his silence.
“Leaking?” I asked gently.
“Honey, it’s everywhere,” and he shut off his headlamp.
We took measurements, knowing even as we wrote the numbers, that there would be no easy fits. We explored every option. Bathfitters and Re-Bath being in the thousands of dollars are not in the budget, the adhesive wall panels are too large and calking and regrouting has not worked. The bathtub is 51 inches long and 29 inches wide. Standard bathtub surrounds – 60″ x 32″.
Crap. Piss. Damn.
At 6:30 tonight Sean began gutting the bathroom. At 7:15 he found redemption, the drywall behind the tiles that he had been tearing down was soaked through, the underside covered in mold, the 2×4 studs along the tub wall were rotted end to end.
So, here we sit, mold-free and bath and showerless.
Last night I was having contractions, tonight I am thinking serene thoughts, crossing my legs and praying for an affordable available plumber come Monday. Tomorrow the girls will go to Nana’s for a sleepover and Sean and I will frame out a new wall to add the 8 inches necessary to install a standard tub and shower surround.
Ain’t life grand?
*Here and now I would like to announce publicly that my husband is the out-of-this-world amazing for keeping his cool and helping me stay calm(ish) through this nightmare. Hopefully I can return the favor by not going into labor until we’ve slept and bathed.