The Plumber Story

Because you asked for it…


When Nate and I moved into the house we now call home, we quickly discovered two things…

#1. The bathroom faucet was on backwards, so to take a hot shower, we had to turn the dial to ‘cold’.

#2. There was no hot water.

Apparently, the hot water tank was busted or not strong enough. Something like that… Anyway, as a result, we have enjoyed lukewarm showers for years, faithfully putting away a bit of money every month so that we could replace the water heater with a cash payment.

So on the day the plumbers arrived this spring, I was positively giddy. This was it! This was the last time I had to shiver my way through a shower. This was the last time that I had to boil pans of water in order to take a warm bath!

The father and son plumber team arrived early, but it wasn’t an inconvenience since they worked in the basement. In fact, they were down there for hours. I went about my daily routine, playing with Brady and making sure he had his nap.

Sometime around noon, Brady showed signs of being hungry, so I carried him upstairs to our bedroom in order to feed him. Now Brady has been very particular about breastfeeding from the very beginning, because he had difficulty latching for the first two months of his life. So he prefers the lying-down position, where we can easily cuddle while he drinks his fill.

So there I was, lying in bed with a baby attached to my breast, when I heard the younger plumber (the son) say, “I need to check your upstairs bathroom.” Booted footsteps coming up the stairs immediately followed.

Now my bedroom is attached to the bathroom, and my door was wide open. And there I was, reclining on my bed half-dressed.

Please let me emphasize that I understand breastfeeding is natural and a woman’s right. Please do not take this, in any way, as an attack on women who breastfeed in public! I just choose not to do it, because – well – that’s my personal choice based on my personal comfort level.

So needless to say, I FREAKED. I guess the smart thing to do would have been to roll off the bed and hide? I don’t know… All I know is that I panicked and seriously just froze, because Brady had a good latch and I couldn’t just rip him off of me. Because the boots kept coming closer and closer all too quickly. Because apparently my body shuts down when I’m nervous.

I knew I had to call out to Nate, who was with the plumber, to close the door. Maybe he could quickly close the door before the plumber reached the landing as well?

So I casually as possible yelled, “Nate, can you please shut the door first?”

Just as I finished my sentence, there was the plumber. Nate apparently was walking up the stairs behind him. So we just kind of made eye contact and froze for a minute.

(Now I reenacted this with Nate later on, and there’s no way the plumber saw much of anything. Brady does have a huge head after all). So really, I should have acted calmly, because I was just feeding my baby in the comfort of my own home.

But, again, this was all happening so fast and was all so awkward. All I knew was that some strange man was looking at me. I had no idea how much was visible and there I was just lounging around with practically no shirt or bra on. So I did the perfectly sensible thing and started to desperately reach for a blanket with my free hand… while also swinging one of my feet towards the quilt at the end of the bed. The only way I can describe it is to say that it looked as though I was swimming in bed.

Just keep swimming… swimming…swimming…

The plumber’s eyes widened, because I’m pretty sure none of the apprenticeship with his father had prepared him for this one. He quickly muttered an apology and continued his way into the bathroom. Nate was upstairs too by this point; and his jaw pretty much dropped, hit the floor, and then bounced back up.

Sooooo long story short, after Nate had closed the bedroom door and I was safe, I called two of my best friends and told them the story.  This was all while half sobbing and half laughing hysterically. They both told me that I’d look back and laugh at the story one day. And they’re right, it is pretty funny in a wow-that-was-totally-humiliating-sort-of-way.

Oh, and you want to know what the best part is? Apparently, Nate hired local. The plumber lives six houses up the street, and I’ve seen him several times now when I’ve gone for a walk. It takes a whole new meaning to the phrase “won’t you be my neighbor”, let me tell you!

The joys of being a breastfeeding mom! 🙂

So who wants to share their most embarrassing story with me??

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2 thoughts on “The Plumber Story”

  1. No judgment here. It’s your baby and your body so you get to choose. And hey, I’d be freaked too. Breastfeeding or not, you’re still left in that moment feeling exposed.

    I was in three different airports this past weekend and one of them had a sign that there was a breastfeeding area in the restroom. I thought, “oh, that’s cool!” Then saw it. It was one wooden rocking chair in an otherwise semi-spacious area but that everyone had to walk past. No cushion on the chair, no comforts or supplies or even a shelf, no privacy. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  2. HAHAHAHAHA! Oh goodness, Nicole! That is SUCH a great story! Embarrassing, but hilarious! I am with you on being all about a woman’s right to breastfeed wherever, but I also completely understand the comfort level issue.

    This isn’t my most embarrassing story, but it reminds me of when I lived with this couple in their late 40s when I was in college. I lived with them for two summers while I was the youth intern at their church. They became like second parents to me. I adore them still.

    Anyway, I lived upstairs in their house and one day when I’d only been there a couple of weeks, their adult son (who did not live with them) came by the house midday to drop something off in his old room (which was upstairs). I knew they had kids, but I had never met either of them. And their poor son had no idea that I was living with his parents.

    Sooo… on the particular day that he stopped by, his parents were already gone, but I was upstairs in my room. With the door open. Fresh from the shower. Brushing through my wet tangled hair. Towel wrapped haphazardly around me. I hear footsteps at the top of the stairs just in time to turn around and lock eyes with their 20-something-year-old son, Austin. We both froze and then turned away from each other and started stammering out apologies. Which makes total sense coming from me because you know, I should’ve heard the door open downstairs and someone come in. Or should’ve shut the bedroom door just in case someone came home (but the couple I lived with never came upstairs!). To this day I still find it funny that he was so apologetic. I mean, he had no idea I was living there. And I’m pretty sure that if I walked into my parents house and found a college aged girl wrapped in a towel I’d have some questions, ha! Anyway, I made a great first impression on him, no doubt. I think I said something intelligent like “I don’t normally take showers in the middle of the day…” You know, instead of “I’m living with your parents while I intern at their church…” 😉

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