Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Pregnancy week 19 brings many happenings from listing our house due to no maternity insurance to the mysterious gallbladder.

by Tarzan · 16 comments

19 weeks pregnant maternity insurancePregnancy week 19 for pregnant Jane has been a busy one, that’s for sure.  In a previous post about my gallbladder pain, I talked about going to the doctor and having to get some test run.  Well, I got the results back and there is nothing wrong with my gallbladder or anything else in my stomach.

This is one of the many reasons why I’m not a fan of going to the doctors office.  After shelling out hundreds and hundreds of dollars (at least now I’m under $100 away from meeting my deductible) and after some tests, I’m told my gallbladder is A-OK along with the rest of my insides.

It was strange actually.  The nurse who called me to tell me the results sounded excited and almost blown away about how good my insides are.  I could tell by listening to her talk that she was smiling ear to ear and was amazed.  I do not know this woman and never met her before in my life.  Weird.  Anyway…

So basically what this mysterious gallbladder pain comes down to is this: After several doctor visits due to stomach problems, and then what I thought was gallbladder problems… is that everything was stress related.  Stress.  Hrrgh.  Even though my stress levels are 100 times lower than what they were a month ago, I guess that extreme stress did a number on me, caused pain, caused symptoms of a bad gallbladder or stones, etc.

Stress is some really dangerous stuff.  It causes all sorts of crazy things to happen to your body.  When I was at my limit a month and a half ago or so, I nearly had a panic attack at Barnes and Noble.  Shortness of breath, a bad feeling in my stomach, dizziness, etc.  Thankfully that only happened once.  Never had one of those before – and I never want one.

So I’m doing all I can to keep the father-to-be stress levels down.  However, today the stress kicked back up a few notches because we had a Realtor at our house today.  I’ll be calling another one or two tomorrow and by the end of this week our house will be up for sale.  This is the toughest pill I’ve had to swallow in a long time.  I’ve been in a bad mood all day since the Realtor left and poor Jane has had to put up with an upset, angry, and stressed out Tarzan.

Being self-employed with no maternity insurance is a killer in this economy.  Going from home owner to renter is the ultimate step back that one could make.  It truly is a very large and tough pill to swallow that is only magnified by having a pregnant wife.  Then of course our neighbors will all be surprised to see our house listed for sale.

We’ll be asked why we’re selling and where we’re moving to.  Jane and I need to come up with some story that we can both stick to and make it sound like it’s no big deal.  We’re obviously not going to admit to not having maternity insurance, slow businesses because of the economy, or how we lost a lot of money in investments that went south – although everyone can relate to the last one now-a-days.

Then we have our family and friends.  I guess we’ll be sticking to the same story we tell our neighbors.  Although, I know people will think it’s weird that we’re not sure where we’re moving to yet.  Usually when people move they are moving for a job, to be closer to family, etc. and they know where they are going.  We have no idea.  

Besides all of the above, once we do move into a new place, I’m not going to want any of Pregnant Jane’s family or any of our friends over.  It’ll be just too damn embarrassing for me.  That’s going to create some tough times for us… I’m not looking forward to that.

To go from where we are now into something 1/4 of the size sucks.  80% of our stuff will have to go into storage because we’ll have no room for it.  I doubt I’ll even want to bring one picture that we have on our wall here to wherever we move because that’ll be too much of a reminder of our current house.  So we’ll just live there with the bare essentials with most of our life packed up in storage… waiting for the day we can go get everything and bring it into our new house… a HOME that we plan on being in for a very, very long time.  A home to raise our boy.

A smaller house is going to be tough on so many levels especially since Jane and I both work out of our house we require a lot of space; more than most people would think.  We have good sized offices, a couple of guest rooms, and other places where we can work.  Having choices of where you want to work from eases our A.D.D. minds and makes working from home a heck of a lot easier and a lot more fun.

A smaller house will mean I’ll have a tiny office – which is already driving me nuts merely thinking about it.  A smaller house means when I’m trying to work with Baby Tarzan is crying in the background at times.

So yeah, there are negatives.  A lot of them.  And it’s very easy to sit here and dwell on all of the negatives and about how much things suck right now.  But I’m doing all I can not to focus on the negatives.  Yes, of course I’m aware of them, but I spend most of my time trying to focus on the positives of this situation.

One big positive is that if we have to move into a smaller house, that would mean we obviously sold this house.  And if we sold it, that’ll mean that we accepted someone’s offer, which would then mean I’d have the money I need to start a new business that I want to start.  Actually, a couple of new businesses.

The plan would be to work like crazy – and I mean 18+ hours a day 7 days a week crazy to get those businesses up and running and hopefully making money fairly quickly.  Starting a brand new business takes a ton of work – especially in this economy.  Pregnant Jane and I have been though the start-up phase a few times before, so we know what we’re in for.

And yes, it’s a HUGE risk.  Starting any business is.  We’ll be using most of the proceeds of the house to get the businesses going.  But, where there is great risk, there is great reward.  And that’s why the plan is to rent some small little house to keep bills very low and save up for a nice new house that we can buy at the end of the year.  That’s the plan.

These are very tough times for anyone, and I would think especially hard for a newly married couple like us.  Thankfully, Jane and I have a unique and special relationship that’ll help us get through these tough times.  How many other couples would live and work together 24/7?  Not many.  Most would have killed each other by now if they didn’t divorce first.

We’re best friends – and that alone is what’s helping us get through this.  Sure, we have our arguments and little spats like everyone else.  And sure, they may be a little more frequent because we both on edge with everything going on.  But we know deep down that we’ll get through this and back on top some how some way.

For me, my dream is to get Jane a new beautiful house as fast as possible that has a nice room for baby Tarzan that we can decorate together.  I wish more than anything that is something that we could start doing now.  I wish that for Jane’s sake because I know how important it is to her.

So, we’ll have to make do with whatever we have in the place we’re renting.  Although we won’t be able to make her dream nursery, I’ll do all I can to make it as close to what she wants as possible.  I want her to be happy.  I want my son to be happy.  And I want both of them to be proud of me.  Proud that their husband/father was able to pull them out of this crazy situation we found ourselves in.  Proud that I made big things happen.  Proud that I’m doing everything I can to ensure they are happy and safe.

No doubt I’ll be venting more about this as time goes on.  This little road on the journey after the plus sign is nothing I ever saw coming… but since it’s here, there’s no point in hiding behind it.  Arrrghhh… so frustrating.  But we’re keeping our heads up.  We’re staying focused.  And life is good.   Sure it may not be as good as we want it right now, but at least we have each other.  And as cheesy as that may sound, it’s true.

You might also want to read:

  1. Wife’s pregnancy makes husband’s gallbladder hurt? And other news…
  2. The real cost of having a baby without maternity insurance: Major news here! Spoke to the hospital today.
  3. Unbelievable! We did it! We’re able to pay all pregnancy and baby doctor bills… and we saved our house!
  4. Final Cost To Have A Baby Without Maternity Insurance And Now Health Insurance! The One-Two Punch!
  5. The real cost of having a baby with no Maternity Insurance, no Medicaid, and no help.

Facebook comments:

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tarzan

Laura, Jane and I read your post. Thanks. We see that there are some VERY, VERY big cultural differences between us. We’re happy to have you as a reader and we wish you the best with your pregnancy.

2 Laura

Wow! I realize how easy it would have been to simply delete my comment, and I truly appreciate the honesty and dignity in your answer, and the way you dealt with my criticism, including the provocative parts :) . (I’m sorry by the way for all the mistakes I’m making, language- or grammarwise, english not being my first, or even second language, I know some of the words I use may sound clumsy.)
So where should I start.. This is going to be a long post I’m afraid, mainly because I want to pay you back the compliment and really get into the things you shared with your readers.
The word redneck was inapprobriate, I know, and I should have left that part out. I apologize. I do know what it means, and didn’t use it by accident or anything, I really got the impression by partly (over)reading some of your writing, but I also know, that over here many people count half of all americans to fit into that description, which is rude and ignorant, and I should know better myself :) . There is a cultural difference I guess, that explains a lot of the stuff that seems hard for me to understand, and doesn’t prove that you are uneducated or ignorant, I’ll talk about that in a minute. (For the record, you could have called me the liberal-leftist-academic-snob-who-would-NEVER-have-the-guts-to-start-any-kind-of-business-of-her-own-because-she-doesn’t-deal-too-well-with-stress-and-would-make-her-own-intestines-explode-by-worrying-about-the-responsibility and be totally right, but you chose not to, and thereas made your point the best way possible.
I have read your posts, all of them, and mostly laughed and anticipated the next one. There is clearly very much love and warmth between the two of you, and judging some of the comments other people have left here (hey, at least you got proof of very many sympathetic readers who were ready to defend you in a heartbeat, maybe some of them without even reading my post very carefully in the first place) I guess MY comment seemed to imply that there wasn’t..? That was never my intention, I did critizise the patronizing (better than dominant, huh?) tone that could be heard (or that I seemed to hear :D ) in some of your writings, that seemed to imply, that you are the one making decisions (please bear with me, I’ll explain what I mean in a second).
Of course, when writing something down in a blog, it’s useful to joke and even exxaggerate a little to get your point accross, and it’s the talent of writing in a juicy way that makes people want to come back and read some more (at least that sounds logical to me, I’ve never had a blog of my own, so I haven’t got first hand experience, only the experience of a reader). There is a fine line though between 1. being ironic and making it still clear to the reader that you are aware of the other side of the story, and 2.making stereotypical jokes and leaving out the important part, namely laughing at yourself at the same time. First type is common in good writing on the internet, but then again, I guess Dooce had to have quite some practice as well before reaching the point where she is now :) . I know I’m being a pain in the ass here, and most of the other readers will roll their eyes and just think that I’m being petty, but still, it was my genuine reaction to, and feeling about, what you had written, and stereotypes about how “boys will be boys” always make my blood boil.. Still doesn’t justify the redneck-stereotype, I know. But it is your blog, you can write any way you want, thanks for letting me critizise it, and I’m relieved to know that you are aware of the influence parents and their way of treating boys/girls have on children’s behaviour. (Although I’m tempted because of my background and studying, I won’t bore you with all the studies about how parents react differently to boys crying/girls crying, or how adults interpret differently a small child’s needs, when in different experiments they are told that the child they see (for example on video) is a boy/a girl, because I guess you know about that stuff yourself. And yes, I do know, that there are different opinions about genetic/cultural influence in behaviour, even among experts and psychologists.)
This is simply an iteresting topic for me personally, but it’s getting too far away from this comments purpose.
I never thought that you literally meant “investing” when talking about the shoes, what caught my ear was the “I took my wife shopping”-attitude. And here we get to the possible cultural differences. I would squirm, and so would most of my friends, if I heard my husband talking about taking me shopping, although techically, he is making most of our money, and will be for quite some time to come, me working only part-time, studying at two universities, and being a mom, soon a mom of two. The only person I know, who talks that way, is my husbands mother, who is 58 years old, and tells everybody how her husband took her out to buy her a new bag. It simply sounds patronizing, as does the part about Tarzan providing for the family, rather than thinking in terms of providing together, and if I overreacted to it, and misinterpreted you, I apologize. Another probably cultural difference: If here a guy under 40 would talk about working 17-18 hours to make things work out fot the family, he would maybe be seen as eager and hardworking, but more than that, if he had a family, people would wonder about how he can allow himself not to spend time with his child or children, and they would pity his wife, and more often than not see him as someone who runs away from his responsibilites as a father. For tha past 15 years or so, men are being more and more appreciated for changing diapers, than for bringing in a lot of money. Which in some cases is a problem, since the women still stay at home more often than men, and many prefer it that way, and men are then expected to be full-time-dads as well as working full time. Although in Finland most people, men and women, go back to work quite soon after they have children, and most children have to start going to kindergarden too early (in my opinion), at the age of 2-3 or even as one-year-olds.
Jane, I loved the part where you wrote about how Tarzan does listen to you, and respects you. I had noticed, that he was the one who talked about the money, or what choices you are making financially, and it does explain a lot, when you say, that it was a concious decision on your part not to, rather than a matter of not being involved. And by the way, I do have a loving husband who actually is the softer one of us two and has sheer endless empathy for my often crazy hormonal fears and moods (contrary to what one of the readers suggested :D ), and when I wrote that “Tarzan seems to have some empathy for Jane”, I was referring to the way you talk about Jane, with love, but still with a slightly patronizing tag on the words (again, that’s at least how I interpreted it), I should have written “SOME empathy for Jane” to make myself more clear. There being many forms of empathy, from giving the other what you think she/he needs, to giving them what they themselves want. But I guess it maybe didn’t come accross that way to you guys anyway.
Thank you for sharing the part about your father, Tarzan, I hope he is doing fine, and will be for many years to come, and I understand now, that you wouldn’t want him to worry about you. It was a simple phrase in your blogpost, that caused me to think, that you were the one making the decision about who not to tell and what, the sentence “I’m not going to want any of Pregnant Jane’s family or any of our friends over. It’ll be just too damn embarrassing for me. ” I read the “I” and the “Me”, and nothing about how Jane feels about it, and even if you didn’t mean it quite that literally, like you later wrote, it sounded scary, it sounded like someone who is so concerned about how things appear on the outside, that he is willing to make his wife’s life harder. I’m glad that was corrected.
One more thing: Be it cultural, or what, for me it is very difficult to understand, that it hurts your pride that much to be in an economically difficult situation. I take your word for it, but still can’t really relate. Being just plain normal middle-class myself, having middle-class parents, I’ve never experienced such brain-wrecking-wealth :) . So I’m probably not qualified to judge how people should/could feel when they have that, and lose it (just temporarily in your case, I’m sure). And maybe I’m being too hasty to jump to conclusions (blame all the psychologystuff for that), but could it just be, that building everything up yourself (which is very admirable, I have no doubt that you can do smart business moves and handle pressure very well), and building up your personality at the same time, since you have had to be very young when you first started your businesses, if you are still in your twenties, you identify very much with the wealth you built up, and that you feel more mortified than you had, if you had just earned the money from your family. I’m not going to contrast wealth-education, but there are some things you can lose, and others that you can’t, maybe it wouldn’t have been such a blow for you, if you had taken the regular route, and at the end lost money that you had been making as the harvard-bred-lawyer-for-some-bigass-company or something? And I’m not saying, that that would have been better, I’m just explaining, why it was so difficult for me to understand you without knowing anything about the background (it still is, even with knowing it, but I guess it can’t be helped, that is something coming from my own upbringing, in my family money never was a big issue or something anybody would be very proud of, high education on the other hand was, and is, and coming from somewhere like that, I have my own ties, which probably keep me from being very objective.
I’m really glad, that you two have a loving relationship, and build up each others self-esteem. I’m sure that you are going to get through the hard times.
Something that struck me was the fact that you don’t watch the news or read newspapers? Do you mean just for now, when the economical situation is what it is? Or are you talking about your life in general. We don’t have a television ourselves, because I don’t approve of 80 percent of childrens shows that they are showing, and believe that my daughter can live without the rest, even if it wouldn’t be harmful, so it seems a waste of time, and me and my husband also have better things to do than watch tv-shows, when we have spare time (we do own dvds and a computer though :) ). But I can honestly admit to being addicted to newspapers, good literature (I feel that it is also important to read as much to and with my child as I can, just to give them a broader perspective of life), and overall KNOWLEDGE. I’ll read almost anything, fact or fiction, as long as it’s good, and would be only half of the person I am now, had I never got to know Steinbeck or Tolstoi. I am reading Narnia to my daughter at the moment, and we both love being thrown into different worlds, worlds you can reach with WORDS, literary worlds.
What I referred to my asking if you were “normal, well-educated people”, was not whether you were “as most people, or acting like most people”, I meant “sane, well-educated people”, I wanted to know, if you were what for me refers to as “sophisticated people”. It may well be a flawed prespective, but it is mine, and reading about the two of you and your lives, I feel like I’m inspecting some kind of a completely new and rare race (my major at the moment is social antrhropology), it’s fascinating. I love discussing things, even provoking, and am only glad, when I get the chance to do it with a complete stranger. I love different opinions, even angry ones, when they are explained and made logical. I don’t know if all this has helped you understand my point of you in the least, but I have enjoyed this very much, and do feel, that reading your answers, I know a lot more about your motives, than when I wrote my first comment. Then again, there is a slight possibility that you belong to some sort of a religious group, that simply considers tv and worldly news to be evil ;) ?
I’ll try to send this out now, I have been writing this instead of studying for a sociology class (and have enjoyed it much more). I’ll continue to read your blog, and look at how Janes tummy will continue to grow, and know that I’m coming right behind you all the time. I also have an anterior placenta, so I guess it will be a few more weeks until I feel the baby move. It could be any day now for you!! And regarding your other post Jane, I agree with the reader who wrote about the not very accurate way of measuring the size of the baby when you do it from the outside, you can’t even tell how much amniotic fluid there is when you just look at a belly, so the baby could be several weeks smaller (and at least here in Finland even the ultrasoundmeasurements aren’t always that precise.) Oh yeah, about writing from “Finland, Europe”.. Maybe it’s just a legend, but here we read that only half of Americans can locate the different continents when they are shown a globe, so I assumed that most of you wouldn’t know where to put Finland, it is a small northern-Europe country after all. Sorry for thinking you were more ignorant than you were..

3 Tarzan

NeedsAStickyBaby… Thank you. Jane and I hope everything is going well for you guys. Come back often because we worry if we don’t see a comment from you. I appreciate the feedback and keep your head up kiddo. ;) We’ll do our best to provide some good old fashioned kicks in the butt and laughs when you guys/gals need it. All we ask is the same when you think we need it. And hey, we all need some of those from time to time… sometimes a LOT of the time as we all know! :)

4 NeedsAStickyBaby

I really hate judgemental people. This blog has helped me keep my head up durring some very hard times. I see myself and my husband so much in the two of you. Both individually and as a couple and found Laura’s comment in total distaste, as well as untrue. You are doing everything you can for your wife and child, I don’t see how anyone can find fault with that.

I find it very hard to share my finaitial trouble with family. I hate to look a failure so I totally understand. All I have to say is some people suck and arn’t worth the time of day.. Laura is one of them as far as I am concerned.

5 Tarzan

@Tracey… It’s great to meet someone who has been through a VERY similar situation. However, you guys deserve a lot of credit for moving into a place with roaches. Eeks! Those things are so hard to get rid of. I had a rental property where the people moved out and left me with THOUSANDS of roaches. Took 3 trips by the exterminator to rid them. They had never seen anything like it. The culprit? They used boxes from a grocery store to move. Roaches lay eggs in boxes. Makes you think twice about grocery shopping sometimes, let me tell you! However, they ran out on me, owed 3 months of rent, and they brought all of the boxes with them into their new place. That was justice served enough for me. :)

But again, it’s good to hear from someone who can relate to what we’re going through. I agree with you – going through things like this as a couple makes you so much stronger together and creates one heck of a bond. It’s like Gorilla Glue for a relationship!

Congrats on expecting baby # 2 and it’s so good to hear that your husband loves his job and that things are so much better than the 1st time. Jane and I do want to have another one after baby Tarzan at some point. We’re going to try for a mini Jane this time. :) And I can assure you, Jane, and everyone else, we won’t be going through anything like this before – that’s for darn sure. :)

Also, that is interesting advise about setting up the place like we’re going to be there for a long time. I was thinking it would be much harder that way, but can see how it would make things a little more comfortable and easier, given how difficult the situation is. Thanks again for sharing!

6 Tracey

I know this is a really hard time for you both. When I was pregnant with my first we had to sell our house and move REALLY FAR so my husband could do more schooling to get a job he loved and I became the family breadwinner. Going from our beautiful new place with a comfortable income to a disgusting apartment (complete with roaches – shudder) and living on my salary was super stressful. We had to give up some things too, like the nursery and so many of the baby things I would have loved to have. But it was a good decision. Because of what we did, my husband has a job he loves, and we know that we are strong enough to pull through anything. Making sacrifices together bonds you like you wouldn’t believe.

And I totally understand about feeling embarrassed about the new place and not wanting to make it home, but your family can be a great source of support. Though you may not want to fill your families in on the details (I certainly didn’t) I’m sure they know things are a little tough for you and will be happy to help make your new place a happy one. You may also consider trying to set up the place as if you will be there for a long time, I have tried both ways and I felt happier when I had my stuff around me and organized.

Now for us, expecting baby #2, things are so much better than the first time. You guys are smart, hardworking, and realistic, you will get through this and come out better at the end.

7 Jane

First of all, thanks to all the great comments above. I love that we have such a great following of people who believe in us and who are rooting for us. Lanea, I especially loved what you had to say! Didn’t you know that it’s so lame for a husband to care about his wife? It’s not cool anymore. You should get with the program. ;) Ha, ha.

Now, Laura…

Where do I even start? I guess I’ll first say thanks for the advice about the weight gain. It’s hard to swallow when you see the scale moving up, but I know it’s part of the whole pregnancy thing. I’ll get through it and be back in my sexy stuff soon enough! Thanks again and congrats on your pregnancy.

Now, onto the rest of your comment…

First of all, Tarzan does not make the decisions. It’s funny that he comes across as the dominant one, but I assure you that I am anything but submissive. We talk about every detail and handle it accordingly. I have never and will never just take a backseat to my life, so please don’t worry about that. He decides to blog about our financial worries and I choose not to. I choose to just figure it out and try to stay positive and it helps him to get it out in the open. We are different in that respect and that’s why we are so good together.

Next, telling our families. We are both adults and do not feel like our families need to know ALL of what’s going on in our lives. My parents have money and they would offer it to us in a heartbeat if they knew that we needed it. If you’ve read previous posts, you know that Tarzan and I would never accept any money, therefore, why tell them? Tarzan explained about his dad, so I won’t say the same thing.

As far as our friends are concerned, Tarzan prob. exaggerated just a little. I’m sure we will have them come over when we have the baby, but it will be slightly embarrassing. Tarzan briefly went into detail about the way our life used to be and how it has changed now. Yes, we both have pride too and we’ll both be the first to admit that. We are both strong people and want the best of it all and refuse to settle for anything less. Yes, this is a slight setback, but it won’t stop us from being the people we truly desire to be. We will only grow from this and it will continue to make us stronger.

Imagine going from owning over a 3500 square foot house to renting a 1000 square foot house. It’s quite different and it will be slightly embarrassing to have friends over. Superficial comment there? Maybe, but it’s just how we are. No one ever wants to fall down, but we will pick ourselves back up and be even bigger and better.

I do appreciate you being concerned for me and for Tarzan “depriving me” of certain people and things, but really?! Do you honestly think that my husband would “deprive” me of such things? Do you really think that I would marry someone like that? REALLY?

Here in Houston, TX, United States of America, we might do things just a little different than you. Healthcare for one is a big pain in the ass, you should be lucky that you have it so easy. It’s hard when you have to worry about spending so much money on a big surprise. It starts to take a toll on you and I feel lucky that Tarzan and myself have made the decision to do what is best for our family.

We made this decision so that we do not live beyond our means. We choose to get our feet back on the ground and taking a step back. There are so many variables in our situation… It’s not our fault that the economy is sucking right now, but we will do what we need to do better ourselves in this crummy situation.

Definition of a redneck according to dictionary.com:
1. uneducated white farm laborer, esp. from the South (Pot, meet kettle. Sterotype, what?)

I assure you that we are not rednecks. We might live in Texas, but surprise, surprise, we do not all ride horses, wear cowboy boots, or belt buckles. We do not all listen to country music and talk in a funny accent. We are both educated (Tarzan with the business smarts and street sense and me with college) and we are far from being a redneck.

I have the greatest husband in the world. Not to get all mushy on all of you readers, but really, I couldn’t have picked a better husband for myself. We completely compliment each other in every way and he is my best friend. I have so much admiration and love for him that it is crazy.

Reading your comment about dominance, empathy, and whatever else was said made me laugh, but it pissed me off more. If you had read any of our previous blogs, you know that Tarzan and I both have a mutual love for each other and we do things with the other in mind. Really, we have a great marriage and shame on you for making it sound otherwise.

Oh, and one last thing – We are far from normal. Why strive to be mediocre when we can be so much beyond that? I take pride in being far from normal and there is nothing more that would suck than having the same mindset and thinking just like everyone else. BORING.

Hope you have a great pregnancy! Hope you come back real soon, y’hear?

8 Julie

I just wanted to say that while you’re feeling stressed and saddened by this decision, I am impressed by your intelligence with the decision. It’s not easy to admit that you just can’t afford to continue to live the way you’ve gotten accustomed to. It’s not easy to suck it up, and move somewhere less expensive & less satisfying to yourself. It’s not easy to feel all of those things, but there is some pride in making the best decision for your family. A real man knows when to make the right decision, and it’s clear that you are doing just that.

9 Lanea

To Laura:

I believe you have misread this blog. It is sometimes really had to get your point across with words, and maybe the humor didn’t transfer across cultures considering you live in Finland, Europe (by the way I think everybody knows that Findland is in Europe but I guess Jane & Tarzan are just un-normal, un-educated, Redneck people (just kidding)). Personally I have just read the immense love and respect that they have for each other that is the undertone for almost every blog post, and that the “slight tone of dominance” you read must have been the humor in the post that you misread. Another thing is I really don’t think you truly undersand how expensive the health care system in America if you don’t have insurance, and really what it means considering that you have subsidized healthcare in Finland. Adding up “the true cost of a baby” (not including the surprize blood test bill) and dividing it by 19 equals $142.58. That is $142.58 per week. Can you afford a surpize bill of $142.58 per week suddenly. This doesn’t inlcude the cost of delivery or any of the other costs of having a baby. I know that alone would cause a huge amount of stress for me. Then on top of that the majority of your income is now gone becuase of the economy, something you had no cotroll of no matter how hard you work. So now you add the stress of surpise bills, a tremendous loss of income, and just to top that off we are going to add a wonderful but huge life change to that! If that happended to me I would become “quite the little tyrant” for sure, but I have NEVER read that impression from Tarzan. But, I guess the thing that made me the most upset about your post was because of the this…” you seem to have some sort of empathy for her in most of your blogs.” Some sort of empathy, really, I mean REALLY, you make it sound like a husband caring for his wife is not normal, and it makes you sound like your husband doesn’t care about your feelings at all. Alas, I could have just misread your post like you have Tarzan’s. Best of luck!

10 momof3girls

I guess it takes all kinds, huh Tarzan. “hang” in there! We are in the same boat. I only wish we were as close as you and Jane seem to be. I’ve had enough happen in my life to know that that old saying about the closing of a door always opens a window is true. but sometimes its hard to remember and stay positive when the door slams on your finger. :)
Your writing style and this blog are a great joy in my busy life. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed what you wrote above. Here’s to more weirdos like you! ;)

11 Tarzan

@MonkeyMama… LOL I guess this is fair warning. If you want to get Tarzan all heated up and ready to do some rumbling with words, I’m prepared to battle. LOL Thank you so much for your kind words – very much appreciated. The good news is that even if you guys don’t buy a house right now, if you guys can continue to save, you’ll find some deals of a lifetime towards the end of the year and the beginning of next year. So really, you’ll be able to get more for your money as time goes on – and as the housing market continues to fall. That’s how Jane and I are looking at it. So really, it is not at all a bad thing waiting to buy until after the biggest waves of foreclosures hits (which some experts predict will be 3rd quarter this year). So save those pennies – you may be surprised what the same money you have now would buy towards the end of the year. :) And a big congrats to you guys!

@Stephaine… Thanks so much! I’m glad that our blog has been helpful for you, and that you understand your husband’s thoughts/fears are better. I’m telling you, a guy goes through many changes even thinking about having children. Maybe not all guys, but for me, it was very overwhelming when Jane and I talked about it before getting married and after. To be honest, it scared me and freaked me out. It was tough to imagine our lives with a little one – especially the lifestyle we were living a couple of years ago that I talk about above.

And then when you get pregnant, oh boy… there will many many other changes, thoughts, worries, fears, emotions, and if he’s anything like me, he’ll be eating a lot more ice cream. (I still have that darn ice cream addiction! I can’t shake it!) So when you guys have too many jello shots and he knocks you up and your husband starts freaking out, just have him stop by here and read some of my previous posts. Either he’ll feel relieved – or he’s going to freak out even more once he sees what’s coming when your fire-breathing dragon pregnancy hormones start kicking in! LOL

12 Stephanie

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I started reading your blog yesterday and couldn’t get enough. I read from the beginning and was impressed with the humor, and clarity that you write each of your entries with. You must be going through so many different emotions that I am impressed you get out of bed each morning. My husband and I don’t have children yet. We are in the talking about “it” stage. He has so many thoughts and fears on the subject that I never did quite understand, and by reading your blog, I see that he’s not the only husband with those same fears. I can understand them better thanks to you. So thank you for opening up about your lives. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and you will get through this. So good luck, take care and Thank you!

13 MonkeyMama

You go Tarzan! There is no room for judgemental ignorant people here…normal? does anyone really want to be normal anymore? I see so much of my husband and my relationship in you and Jane and find alot of humor and strength in reading your blog and going through this pregnancy at almost the same time as you guys. I think you are an amazing husband and father and I completely respect your candor and your ability to look past the situation at hand in order to take care of your family. We too had plans to buy a house this summer but somethings need to change when you bring a new life into the world, planned or not. In the end, the baby will have no clue if it lived in a house or an apartment when it was little and frankly it won’t care one bit. All that will matter is that he or she has loving parents that care.

14 Tarzan

@Ryan… My hat is off to you brother. Living in a 450 sq/ft room with your wife and daughter must have taken some BIG adjustments – especially with the both of you working from home! Wow. But very smart investing the money into your business. I’m sure it won’t be long where the cost of a home for you guys won’t really matter! Smart couple! We’re the same way, we love to travel, have lunches in the park, etc. But we also love living in a nice house. We’ve had the best of both worlds for a few years, but it’s time to take a step back, regroup, work hard, and make better decisions going forward now knowing that the economy and business can flip/flop at any time.

@Laura… Wow. I almost didn’t publish your post. Being called a “redneck” got my blood boiling a little. Well, actually BIG TIME. However, I will calmly explain myself here because there is a LOT that I have not disclosed on this blog our who I am that will put things in perspective for you. And just for the record, you may want to watch what you say and what you call people without knowing the facts…

First, we’ll talk about Jane’s shoes. When I said “investment” I was talking about “investing” in the comfort of her feet. It was a joke. I joke a lot on this blog if you spend some time reading previous posts. Seriously. Who would call shoes an investment? You can’t make money from shoes. So it was a joke that I was investing in the long-term comfort of her feet. And as far as me buying them? Yes, I did. Because Jane and I both have businesses, we have to have many separate bank accounts for business and tax purposes. Some accounts are together. Some have just Jane and some have just me. We have community money (as a couple should) and we of course have access to each others accounts, cards, etc. but when I buy something for Jane, it comes from “my” account. I don’t buy presents for Jane out of our “community” account. We use that for things we both need like groceries, etc. Hope this explains that one for you.

And oh brother – come to think about this… this is our life. Our true life. Why in the F&$# would I have any reason in the world to not tell the truth here? For God’s sake, this blog is a documentation of our lives while Jane is pregnant that our son can read someday. The ONLY reason I decided to open up more and talk about the struggles financially is because after thinking about it, I didn’t want to leave that out. It’s important… actually the most important thing right now because it is forcing us to make some big decisions, all of which are with Baby Tarzan in mind. And it is all of these decisions that we are making now that will be shaping our lives and his life in the near future. So yeah, it’s important to document this stuff.

As far as not telling our families that we are having financial problems? So what? That is my choice. We happen to be closer to our families than most people. But as a man (and other guys who read this TOTALLY understand where I’m coming from) I feel it is my responsibility to provide for my family. And for years, I have done VERY well for us. I never went to college and for several years was among the top 1% income earners in the world (still in my 20′s) and I came from nothing. It was all though hard work and smart business moves. I’ve never talked about our life before all this craziness on this blog. My son will see what things were like for us before this collapse through the thousands of photos we have, places we went to, things we’ve done, etc.

So yeah, over the last couple of years, I’ve taken a very, very big fall. Larger than most can even imagine. But so what? I’m doing what I can to dust myself off and get back up again. It’s hard to do – no doubt about it, and I’m making parts of that struggle public. And why not? Maybe someone will learn something from it – most importantly, my son.

So why do I have a hard time sharing our struggles with our families? Because FOR ME, that would be in some sort of a way admitting that I failed. I’m down now, but I will get back up. I’ve fallen many times before on this journey to becoming successful and I got back up and became much stronger each and every time. However, this time is MUCH different with a little one on the way.

I have read thousands of books on success, biographies of successful people, ran very successful businesses, and have a completely different mindset than most. No one in my or Jane’s family has this mindset. None of them own their own businesses or have studied successful people. If we told them where we are at this very moment, they will all get freaked out, worried, and become huge pains. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but they will get into my business and start telling me things like “you should get a job” or “let us help you out financially” or whatever. I don’t need their help for one, and two, I don’t want to put any burden on them.

One of the BIGGEST reasons is my father. He has had a few heart attacks, has beat cancer, and his overall health isn’t the best. He’s also an excessive worrier. If I shared everything going on with him, I’d be afraid of how he would take that and what could happen.

Now I do not – nor will I ever lie to him. He knows my business is VERY slow. He knows that we are selling the house. He knows that we are moving into a smaller place and will have to rent. I’ve told him all of this and he is proud of me for making these decisions with my soon-to-be born son and my wife in mind. In fact, he is very proud of both of us on how we’re handling the situation. So proud that he’s said many, many times to both Jane and I that we’re true soul mates because of how well we work together all around- work, life, our relationship, etc.

So yes, he knows things aren’t like they were before. Heck, we’re always home now. Two years ago Jane and I were traveling more each month more than we were home. So he knows things are not like how they were and he has had many conversations with me about how he has been worried about the economy and my businesses.

Jane’s parents… that is a TOUGH one for me… for any guy when it comes to the parents of their wife. I don’t want them to worry or get into my business, or ask us if they can help us. I also have a lot of pride, I’ll admit that, and there is nothing wrong with that.

So by the end of this year, God willing, we will be back to where we were and even better. I’ve just hit a few low points over the last couple of months and shared my thoughts/feelings here. And believe me, I know any time someone opens up and shares their thoughts/feelings (as I am doing here) it opens the doors to the peanut gallery. For the most part, all comments are welcome and great advise is provided. However, every once in awhile you get comments that are… well…. not needed.

And as far as your comment about ME making all the decisions about everything, that is the furthest from the truth. Jane and I talk in great detail about every decision and every move we make. We have a great relationship/friendship and always talk openly about everything – especially during this period in our lives. We spend hours talking about everything on a day to day basis.

As far as your comment, “here is a slight tone of dominance though, when you talk about “investing in shoes for her” or “getting the house”….” I already explained the whole shoes deal above… and as far as dominance, that couldn’t be furthest from the truth. Jane and I are a team. A very close two person team. It’s the two of us which creates the dominant force, not one or the other. Jane and I laughed out loud about this comment, because if we asked any of our friends or family who was the dominant one in our relationship, we KNOW they wouldn’t be able to answer it. They would say the both of us – because everyone we know is amazed on how well Jane and I work together as a team in business and in life.

As far as your comment, “Maybe all the stereotypes about little boys/girls also add to the feeling, that you are a redneck getting your comfort and pride in what neighbours, or other people in general (maybe falsely) think about you.”…

Stereotypes? Huh. In previous posts I’ve talked about my observations on how little boys and little girls behave in public. Those are my observations tied into a little bit of humor. Of COURSE I understand that it is how you raise your children. However, I also understand that a child’s genetic makeup also plays a large roll. Jane as a typical good little girl, quiet, never got into trouble. I was a hell raiser. Maybe Baby Tarzan will take parts of both and not be as bad as I was. I hope not for Jane’s and my sake! But seriously, my comparisons between boys and girls were far from stereotypical; they were based on what I saw at the mall because I’ve noticed I pay attention to those things now-a-days. And of course, I’ve seen many well-behaved young boys out there and I’m not saying nor would I ever say that all boys are hell-raisers and all girls are angels. I’ve seen it both ways over the years and parenting plays a HUGE roll in that.

Since Jane and I both work from home and we’ll be there for Baby Tarzan 24/7 and won’t have to let him grow up somewhere outside of home, I feel he’ll be a very well behaved boy.

And as far as what other people think of us… sorry, we are not going to go around our neighbors and say, “Oops! Our businesses failed! We’re selling! See ya!” Why am I being a “redneck” as you put it and not sharing our private details with them?

Simply because it’s none of their damn business as to why we have to move. And because once we get back on our feet we plan to move right back into this area again. It’s a very, very nice area that I never ever thought I’d ever be able to live in in my entire life. I spent years and years driving by houses like this and in this area daydreaming that one day I’d be able to live in a place like this. So I’m here, and now we have to move because of financial stuff. That is none of our neighbors business. Besides, they think we work for some top secret Government organization or something because we’re the youngest couple here, we don’t go to work, and for awhile there, we were always gone for a week at a time here or there. It became quite a joke in the neighborhood where people were trying to figure out where we’d be going from one week to the next. So anyway, this “redneck” as you call me, has his reasons.

And as far your comment (my favorite)… “Please don’t be angry, but are you normal, well educated people..?”

Man this one made me laugh. I’ll speak for myself first. Am I normal? How do you define normal? Am I a guy who watches football on the weekend? Nope. Am I a guy who watches TV at night and has at least one favorite TV show? Nope. Am I a guy who goes out and gets drunk with his friends and leaves his wife at home? Nope. Am I a guy who is lazy and does just the amount of work needed to get by like I’ve seen so many other guys do when I worked for other people? Nope. Am I a guy who doesn’t really have any big dreams and isn’t willing to work hard and make big things happen in order to accomplish what he wants in life – without letting fear get in the way? Nope.

So I don’t have any TV shows that I watch. I don’t watch the news. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t read the newspaper. Most “normal” guys do. So that must make me “weird” and not normal. I don’t like seeing negative things on the news – I stay FAR away from that – even at Jane’s doctor appointments when they have CNN on, we sit and wait in another room that has no TV to stay away from the negativity. Is that normal? Nope – I see a lot of guys in there with their eyes glued to the TV talking about killings and how the economy is falling apart. Are they normal? Sure, I guess so since everyone else is doing it.

I’ve never read a fiction book. All I read is success books, self-improvement books, self-improvements DVD’s, listen to ONE band when I listen to music when I workout or I’m driving…. is that normal? NOPE.

I’ve read more books and attended more seminars than any PHD would be required to do in any profession. I paid for everything out of my own pocket – into the six figures. Is that normal? Hell no.

I never went to college, yet I became one of the top 1% income earners in the world for a few years, a few years back. Is that normal? Nope.

As far as Jane, is she a “normal educated person” as you put it? Well, she went to college. Her grades were 100 times better than mine were all through school. She’s the smart one. But she, like me… may not be considered “normal”. Although, do either Jane or I want to be “normal”? Do we want to live normal lives, live in a normal house, drive normal cars, take a normal one to two vacations per year, and just live “normal” in every sense of the word?

Nope. We want more. We want the bigger house. Several of them actually. We want the nice cars. We want to take many, many vacations a year. We don’t want to worry about finances. We don’t want to worry about the stresses that come living “normally” for some people. So in some respects, we’re pretty far from “normal” and we’re doing all we can every day to become less and less normal.

Sure, Jane and I are going through a very difficult time right now. Most divorces would happen at this point – and according to most stats and studies, we’d have a 75% chance or higher of getting a divorce now for many reasons, some of the biggest financially. Sorry, we love each other more and more every day and our relationship gets stronger. Huh. We must not be normal in that respect either.

I live and work with my wife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have the best relationship ever. Is that normal? Well, when we talk to other couples and we tell them that, they’d say, “oh, we’d never be able to do that, we’d kill each other!” So I guess we’re not normal there.

I’m willing to get over my fears, do whatever it takes, work hard, get my hands dirty, think BIG and become successful again. I’m willing to pick myself up, dust myself off – even when it’s as hard as hell like it is now-a-days, and dive right back in. Is that normal? I’ve seen HUNDREDS of guys give up many, many, many times who were in this situation – or even in situations not even 100 times as worse. I’m not giving up, so I must “not be normal”.

And Jane must not be “normal” because many women would bail out on their husbands right now. In fact, I know several people (and have heard of even more) who have because the man took a big hit financially and not only did his life fall apart, but as did their marriage.

This has been a BIG fall for me financially – I’m sure much larger than I allude to on previous blog posts. When I met Jane, I was just beginning to “make it”. She saw me work my ass off to make big things happen and create a lifestyle that few people ever live. We traveled all the time. We drove the nice expensive cars. We were on top of the world and did crazy things because we could.

So, yes, I made many mistakes over the years. Some of this is my fault, while there were other things out of my control that caused this downward spiral, like the economy. However, no matter what, Jane has stood by my side and is still standing by my side as we struggle financially for the first time ever together.

We’ve gone from buying anything we wanted and doing anything we wanted to not really doing much of anything because we can’t afford to. Many woman would not be able to handle living the “high life” like Rock Stars (you should have seen us in Vegas all the times we used to go) and then falling all the way back to where we are now. Many woman would leave their man and seek out someone else who is at the top.

So I guess because she’s staying by me – and will always stay by me as I will always do for her, through good times and bad, we must not be normal people.

I could go on and on here… so to answer your question, are we educated normal people?

I guess by looking at all of the above… nope. I’m not a normal educated guy. Jane’s not a normal educated girl. I must be some lazy-ass dominant redneck who is uneducated and is stereotypical who cares too much about what others think of me, huh?

If I was the type of person you seem to be pinning me as, I end this with the famous line, “how do you like them apples?” But I’m not. Instead, I’m going to end this with…

Thank you very much. I appreciate your comment by the way – and congratulations on your pregnancy. Jane and I wish you and your husband the best.

Love,
The Redneck Family

15 Laura

I’m glad your gallbladder is fine. And congratulations, both of you!! Being pregnant myself (17. week started on sunday) it’s always interesting to read about others in the same fattening hormone-filled state :) . Jane, I wouldn’t worry too much about the weight gain if I were you.. I had my first child six years ago, and having always been slim (BMI at about 18) was at first horrified, when the kilograms started piling up (sorry, can’t count in pounds, I am writing this from Finland, Europe..). By the time I was halfway through the pregnancy, I had gained 10 kilograms.. Altogether I managed to put on 21 kgs! And still everything was gone six months later. I think your body knows what it needs, and although I couldn’t help feeling bad about it once in a while back then, looking back all the worrying about it was very unnecessary. I know you can’t just decide not to think about something, but give it a try :) . (I should be preaching about this to myself at the moment also, because this time around I worry that my belly won’t look as beautiful as it did six years ago, it just seems to be a little higher up than last time, and I’ve started showing earlier (which is perfectly normal from what I’ve read), but I’m still going nuts about not being able to look as stylish and sexy as I did when I was expecting the first one :D ).
Well, the reason I am writing this comment in the first place, is that this last post by Tarzan really sounded too bad to be actually true. Maybe it’s my pregnancy hormones, but it seems to me, that you Tarzan are quite the little tyrant.. I’m addressing you only now, as it seems that you are the one making decisions about both of your lives. Not telling your FAMILIES that you are having big financial troubles? Either you guys really aren’t close to your friends and family, or you are depriving not only yourself but Jane also from having the comfort and support of people who care about you.. Are you serious? And is your pride really that important? It’s actually hard to believe, because you seem to have some sort of empathy for her in most of your blogs. There is a slight tone of dominance though, when you talk about “investing in shoes for her” or “getting the house”. Seems to be something straight out of “Little House on the Prairie” :D . Maybe all the stereotypes about little boys/girls also add to the feeling, that you are a redneck getting your comfort and pride in what neighbours, or other people in general (maybe falsely) think about you. Please don’t be angry, but are you normal, well educated people..? I know moneytrouble from my own life, I’m still studying, and with only my husband working at the moment, we have to be very careful about spending (and couldn’t get a loan for an own apartment even if we tried, with a second child coming now). I hope things turn out ok for both of you!!

16 Ryan

A baby! Isn’t it wonderful to become a dad? I’m shocked by your medical bills though, how I wish for you to have a nicer system. We both have our own businesses, but the Dutch all have the same (well covered and cheap-ish) insurance, whether you’re employed, self employed or unemployed. Not having to pay out of pocket for my wife’s checkups and sectio, plus my little girl’s stay in the neonatology unit helped reducing our stress levels. Good thing you’re anticipating, in stead of just hoping for the best…

We live in a tiny (430 sqft, one room!) but well equipped apartment, both work from home and have a five month old daughter. We saved enough for a nice house, but decided not to move because we wanted to live in the nicest but most expensive neighborhood in this city.

We find that our small quarters give both of us a chance to bond with our new baby, instead of just the mom. Yes, at times it’s hard, but looking at friends with their huge houses… I don’t care for guest rooms (it’s cheaper to pay for their hotel a couple of times than to build extra rooms), two cars for two commuter jobs, living in a lifeless neighborhood, needing expensive childcare… I don’t even miss a nursery or office: our daughter sleeps in crib next to us and during the day she’s in a play pen near our desks.

All in all: I’d say go for it – the relaxed lifestyle that comes with cheaper housing. We enjoy our little girl so much and rather have her happy and with us than have our family envious of our living quarters and too busy jobs. And we still have our savings, but instead of paying interest on a mortgage we invest in our businesses, travel whenever we like and go out for nice lunches in the park or a cafe every day.

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