Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ink is the New Norm

So it seems like lots of people are posting about their ink and piercings lately.  So without further ado...
Just to lay the foundation: one of the things my mom beat to death was the idea that all tattoos will eventually be a major regret.  I cannot tell you how many times I heard "Don't get a tattoo.  I got mine and I regret it all the time"  and the thought that always went through my head was "Well duh.  You got as playboy bunny on your butt.  You were a stupid teenager who got a tattoo just to be cool.  I won't do that."  So I knew that when the day came that I got a tattoo, it would mean something.  Mean a lot.

My first tattoo I ever got was on my lower back.  The word "broken" in hebrew.  It comes from Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." NIV.  While this tattoo has many meanings and implications throughout my life, the basis of this was that I lost my virginity.  Scott and I had been dating for 2 years and to a certain extent it is difficult to be so emotionally intimate without the physical aspect.  So we had sex.  And I was wracked with guilt.  And I knew that as much as I could try to justify it, I needed to focus on my faith.  I remember I got it right before Thanksgiving break, 2005. I went home over Christmas, and to a certain extent, and kind of forgotten how new it was.  I was getting out of the car one evening and my mom saw the ink and choked out "WHAT is THAT?" I was really confused and was like "What?! ... ooooooh.  Ya.  I got a tattoo."  Needless to say I didn't explain that sex had been involved in it's history.

Then in the winter of 2007 I got a celtic horse on my right ankle.  I had long enjoyed the design.  The aesthetics, and the horse.  I started riding back when I was learning to walk.  Little "mommy and me" horse camp in the local park.  And from there, I was always trying to spend more time around them.  Riding speaks to something in my blood, in my soul.  And while I'm not superstitious the symbol was meant to keep equestrians safe.  (Hey, it's not like I have the word "moron" written on me in Japanese, right?)

Number 3... one of my favorites.  I got it it in the Fall of 2009, right about the time we started TTC.  I was desperately homesick for the northwest and dealing with the end of owning my horse Foxer.  (Who we re-homed so we would have money for a kid.)  I got a hippocamp on my left hip. The hippocamp was a mythical beast half horse half fish that pulled Poseidon's chariot.  Something about it seemed like a perfect symbol of who I am.  The love of water and horses.  I have already touched on my love of horses, but let me just say that growing up in the NW and spending every summer out on the family boat... I was a water baby.  When I have panic attacks it is one of the non-medical ways of calming me down to get into the shower.  I love to swim.  And I really hope to impart a love of the water and horses onto my kids someday.

My 4th and 5th tattoos cover the tops of my feet in spring of 2010.  I know I know, I get asked all the time "Isn't that painful??"  I try not to make a sarcastic remark. Yes it hurt.  But my hippocamp actually hits the bottom rib, and extends in front of my hip a little and was the most painful tattoo I have gotten to date. Anyway, it reads "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away..."(on the left foot) and then "Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Job 1:20" on the right, so you can read across them.  I was feeling frustrated with feeling like we had made no headway on the infertility front.  Of course 2 months later I would get pregnant... and lose it before we got a heartbeat.  The scripture was my mantra in that very dark time.  Again, focusing on the most important thing, my lifeline, my faith.

And my plans for the future?  I would like to have a red and white parrot tulip tattooed with a single red drop running down from the red of the petal.  This tattoo is for my miscarriage.  Not that I would ever forget, but my tattoos are a representation of me.  And I feel the need to have something to represent the pain and hopelessness I felt. Why a tulip?  For one, it is one of my favorite flowers, but also, because it s spring blooming flower and the child I lost was due in late March.  White for the innocence lost.... my innocence that a pregnancy could be a sure thing.  The innocence of that unborn child.  And red for the pain and for the actual physical blood shed.

So out of that somber note and back to something a little more fun.  My piercings.  I got my ears pierced as a small child (Had to do it twice because the first time I screamed so much i wouldn't let them do the second ear)  Then March 2010 I was in Seattle hanging out with one of my oldest friends E (we go back to elementary school if you can believe it) I wanted a piercing.  But something more than just an extra hold in my ear.  I don't like my boobs so nipples were out (E has her nipples done and loves them.I was tempted, but the other concern was if it would make my ability to breastfeed impossible someday)  And while I love the look of dermals, the pain you have to go through to have them removed was just too much to consider.  I wanted something easy to remove if I hated it.  I don't really like facial piercings... I considered my nose.  But was worried it could effect my attempts at job hunting so... for my birthday E and I went and got our hoods pierced.  Yes, I know, seems risque, but it was kind of perfect.  Because I got a piercing and it has made sex... improved.  And even Scott likes it!  Win-win.  Then in May I was feeling a little needle addiction, and got my right tragus pierced.  It's cute, I like it :) A tiny hoop with a green gem.  Maybe one day when I'm done having kids, after I lose the weight and get a boob lift/reduction (This isn't a vanity thing.  I have DD's.  And a bad back because of it.) and feel better about them, then I'll get my nipples pierced.  Andy maybe one day I will get brave enough to get some dermal piercings... I like to get some around my hippocamp to highlight it.  Oooo, sparkley...


  1. This was a fun post. :) It's amazing the things we do & don't know about each other through blogs - I never would have guessed you were a tattooed/pierced up person!

    I used to have my nipples pierced and LOVED it, but my husband (then boyfriend) never liked them, so I ended up taking them out about 3 yrs ago. I still miss them at times.

    This is the tattoo I want to get. Someday!

  2. I did a double take when I saw the hebrew on that pic. :-)

    Did you take it directly from the hebrew quote from the bible?

    I can assure you it's not misspelled. However, grammatically it means "I have been broken" rather than "broken". Which I think is beautiful. In case you don't know how to pronounce it, it's "neesh-bar-tee".

    The word "broken" would be "sha-voor".

    so yeah, I like the "I am broken" thing. tis good. :-)
    (handy to have an Israeli around, ain't it?)

    I love the idea of commemorating your losses in the form of a tattoo. I did two butterflies to commemorate my losses on my first due date. It was a very healing experience. I think you should do it on a special occasion, for sure.

  3. Coolio! I love people's stories around their tats. I have none, but plan to get some small dandelion seeds (similar to the top of my blog) on my left under forearm, Mr Stinky too, but he hasn't quite decided on his, he quite likes the idea of a Maori-inspired tat, but I don't know if we can do that with cultural sensitivity (sounds a bit silly to read perhaps, but I read somewhere that non-Maori having Maori tattoo designs is like stealing a bit of the identity.
    Again, to commemorate the babies we carried but didn't live. Sounds morbid, but the only way I would get a tattoo is for some kind of event or experience

    I got my tragus done about 10 years ago, just wear a little stud with flat back, and a little half hoop in top right cuff. Had navel about 15 years ago, but got infected and never healed right. Have thought about the clit piercing but thats about as far as it went.
    I have a complete weirdness about needles and penetrating through skin, so I don't actively pursue this stuff 24/7, just when it means something.

  4. Josey - ya, it's true I don't come across as a tattooed person. Something about my face shape/hair type I tend to lean more towards "classic/elegant" than "edgy". I like to think I can clean up but I've got a bit of a wild side. But it's a balance. Not too crazy, not too "living in a bubble". I'm so jealous you had your nipples done! I think Scott would be ok if I had mine done... My friend E who has hers done is also a jeweler so she made her own custom nipple rings with platinum and diamonds. From a purely jewelry standpoint they turned out really beautifully.

    Mommy Odyssey - I thought of you as I posted that picture! I actually got it while going to Colorado Christian University (majoring in Theology) and went to the Old Testament professor to make sure I got the Hebrew accurate, and yes it was taken directly from the text in the Bible. Thank you for the clarification on the meaning, although nerdily enough I did know the pronunciation. :D My brother gave me crap when he saw it. He sarcastically said "Because we're Jewish?" and I got all little-sister-snotty and replied "Because we have the Old Testament!" Ah sibling drama...

    Stinky - The seeds sounds really cool :) And I like that you guys are respecting the Maori culture. I'm sure Mr.Stinky will find something he loves someday. I don't know what it is, I actually have a phobia of needles as it pertains to getting my blood drawn but I actually kind of enjoy getting new ink and piercings *shrug* I think it's more about loving the finished project that it makes the pain worth it. But it's not for everyone and I don't judge people who don't have them.

  5. You have some gorgeous tattoos. I really love the hippocampus and the celtic horse. Wow. I definitely have plans for more ink.

    And, I am totally with you on the boob job. When I know without a doubt that there won't be more children, I am getting mine reduced by a LOT. I was a DD before I had kids and the boobs got bigger each time. I now wear a LL (yes, those are two Ls).

  6. ha. . .i was going to tell you the literal translation once i saw it as well ;-)