A Clogged Drain

Posted by Anthony.

Dealing with a clogged drain is never fun. It’s less fun at 6:30 am and that drain is in your shower and you’re standing there, half awake, ankle deep in water. But, this was the situation that I found myself in last Thursday morning. Not an ideal start to the day, but, I reasoned with myself, it could always be worse.

I turned the water off, got out of the shower and dried off. I grabbed the plunger, hoping that it would be a quick and easy clog to clear. It wasn’t. Somehow, the force of the plunger had actually made things worse. Whereas the water had been draining ever-so-slowly before, it now wasn’t going anywhere. In attempting to fix the situation, I’d actually made things worse.

I tried running more water into the tub, thinking that if I could get a better seal around the plunger, it might provide enough force to push the clog through. No luck. I tried stuffing a rag up the overflow drain to seal it, but the opening was too small. So I stood there, holding a rag over the overflow drain with one hand, and pushing the plunger against the drain with my other hand.

No dice.

I started looking through the cleaning supplies. At some point, we had some Drain-O or something, didn’t we? Maybe we had, but we didn’t any more. I sat down on the side of the tub for a moment and considered my options.

I went to the kitchen, grabbed some baking soda and vinegar. I poured probably a quarter of a box of baking soda down the drain and then slowly started pouring vinegar into the water.

The chemical reaction between the acid and the base resulted in lots of vigorous bubbles, frothing the surface of the water in the the tub. But there was no change in the water level. I tried more baking soda and more vinegar. Still nothing. I started alternating between vinegar and baking soda and more plunging.

The water in the the tub stubbornly stayed put.

I sat down on the side of the tub again, sweating and defeated. I felt incredibly frustrated that all of my efforts had only seemed to make the problem worse. No matter what I did, this clog refused to budge even a little bit. I checked the time and saw that I had spent almost 30 minutes trying to unclog the drain and had nothing to show for it but a bathtub filled with water and vinegar.

I decided to give it one more shot and then give up.

I poured some more baking soda down the drain and followed it with vinegar.

And it worked. Almost immediately, there was the familiar echoing sound of water sloshing down a pipe from a full tub, followed shortly by the sucking sound that the drain makes as the water finishes emptying out.

I was excited to have triumphed. It was a small victory, but first thing in the morning, and before coffee, this clogged drain had felt Sisyphean in nature. Then reality set in and I realized that I had barely enough time to get dressed and get out the door to work.

It wasn’t until later that afternoon that my brain had had enough time to digest the experience. It felt very symbolic and a good reminder to never give up.

We’ve been through a lot of emotional ups and downs since we launched our Indiegogo campaign two weeks ago. It’s been difficult to put ourselves out to the world in such an open and vulnerable way, especially when the world isn’t always a welcoming place for our hopes and dreams. Much like the clogged tub, we had been feeling stuck.

I called Kirk and left him a voicemail telling him about my experience trying to unclog the tub. At the end, I said that we don’t know what’s going to unstick us, what ultimately might push our campaign into high gear, or how we will eventually become dads. We know it’s going to happen, and we just have to keep trying, even if sometimes it feels like trying is only making things more difficult or if we feel like, no matter what we try, there’s no movement.

This is just one part of our journey towards fatherhood and all of the difficulties and trials of this part will fade into the background when we meet our child for the first time