Sunday, February 12, 2012

My First Tattoo

(I wrote this the night I got my tattoo, January 9th)

I thought I would write a blog post about this because everyone has been asking how my first tattoo went and it’ll be great to have to look back on!
Well. I guess since it’s my first one I should start out with how I wanted it.
Until about 3 months ago, I never considered myself to be a tattoo person. No one in my immediate family has one, and unfortunately from growing up I sort of got the message that getting a tattoo wouldn’t be a good choice.
My friend Cassie was getting quite a few tattoos and that sparked my interest. I never knew what I would get until one night in early December it came to me that I would get the word natural. I debated about placement, going from my wrist, to my left shoulderblade, to my left side ribs.
When I told Aaron that I wanted to get a tattoo, he was pretty shocked, because as I said, people don’t usually see me as the tattoo type. I was so scared to tell my parents because I thought they would freak out, but they actually were very okay with it, and my mom went with Aaron and I to get it. I went through a lot to get this tattoo. Everyone was thrusting their opinions on me and I was very overwhelmed, but I knew I wanted it, and I made the appointment a few days before my Disney Cruise.
I had to change the appointment date a few times. Finally, after changing it 3 times, I scheduled the appointment for today, Monday the 9th at 7:30pm. Originally I wanted the font to be size 72, but I ultimately decided on size 55 and the size looks perfect to me. My font is called "Pavane" and it's from (SO many font choices!)
When we got there, the guy at the front desk informed us that my tattoo artist was running about 20 minutes behind.
An hour and 15 minutes later, I was back in the tattoo part of the shop. Everything was happening pretty fast so I didn’t really have time to get too nervous about it.
As for the pain, I’m not exactly sure if it’s what I was expecting. It definitely felt like a sharp needle. Aaron and my mom thought I was going to start crying and freaking out, but I kept telling them over and over again that I knew I wasn’t going to cry or back out, and I didn’t. When he was doing the ‘N’ which is the closest letter to my chest, it hurt REALLY bad. I think I said ‘This hurts like a bitch’ many times. When he was shading the letters it hurt much more than when he did strokes. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out, which I was a worried about due to my past ear piercing experience in July.
I tried to redirect the pain signals from the tattoo pain by digging my nail into behind my ear and having my mom dig her nails into my hand. It actually works, so all the pain receptors (I think?) don’t go straight from the tattoo to your brain, but there are other points of pain that the brain has to account for as well.
UPDATE: As for healing, it healed very well and it's still incredibly black and bright. The redness went away within hours on the night I got it done. For the first 3 days, I hardly knew it was there. On the 3rd day, the ITCHING started, and OH MAN, it itched so bad. (I slapped the skin with my nails as to not peel the flaking ink off).
Until the ink settled into my skin, I washed with Unscented Dr. Bronner's Castile soap twice a day (morning and night), and followed with Rainwater Botanicals' Healing Salve. I constantly kept it moisturized so I didn't notice a ton of flaking at once. After the ink settled, I switched to Burt's Bees Miracle Salve. I currently still wash it once at night and use the salve on it once in the morning and then after I wash it at night.
Every time I look at it (although backwards in mirror), it makes me SO excited and I can't even explain how happy I am that I got it done. Although it's in a spot that no one can see when I have even a tank top and shorts on, I love to show it off and I love to look at it.
I'm currently planning on a 2nd one which I'll get before the summer (since summer time isn't the best for healing tattoos), but I'm sure you guys will know well before the time comes for my 2nd one (via twitter! :P)
For those of you that think you who are thinking about getting one done and are worried about what your family might say, do what YOU want. After you get it and months go by, it'll be like old news. The shock to your friends/family of getting another one will go away after you get your first :P
If you're worried about jobs/locations on your body to get one done (although a job shouldn't determine what you do to express yourself, I personally couldn't get that out of my head while I was thinking of locations), go for a more conservative place that you can only see while wearing a bikini. I love knowing mine's there, even though I can't see it all the time.
I'd LOVE to see pictures of your tattoos or thoughts about if you guys are considering getting any! Hope you enjoyed :D