My wonderful Belly
I gave birth for the first and only time 6 years ago, on the 18th of March 2005. I have a wonderful little boy named Tobias (his portrait is on my middle back (done by an artist who had 8 years tattooing experience, but had despite drawing many portraits never tattood a portrait but wanted to, but without portraits in his portfolio couldn't 'sell' the idea of a portrait tattoo to any-one, so I donated my back for him to do his first portrait tattoo, the result is better than a lot of portraits I've seen & not as good as some others I have seen, but I'm happy with it), my son's name is also on my lower back above a pegasus, the pegasus was the last tattoo I had done before pregnancy & his name was the first (6weeks) after pregnancy..
During the pregnancy I had gained 4 1/2 stone. - my size 8 (UK size 8) simply ballooned - I didn't exactly 'eat for 2' however, I did have a severe mashed patatoe craving, I even woke up fancying it for breakfast. I lost the weight gradually during the year post birth & thought at first that my oddly shaped post pregnancy belly -even after the weight loss- was 'normal'... after all: all other new mums seemed to complain about their shape too... Then when during a chat with another mum I went into more descriptive detail about how odd exactly my belly looked, she said it sounded like I had a hernia, when I then lifted my top, she shrieked that I most definitely had a hernia.
I went to the doctor and indeed: I had the biggest hernia he had seen in his 20 year career: my belly muscles simply had never returned to their original position, leaving a 28cm long & 4 1/2 cm wide gap and my intestines were simply 'poking through my belly wall' causing the odd shape and occassional severe aching. I couldn't afford private surgery (I went to a private surgeon who quoted £7,000) so had to endure an NHS waiting list, I was told it could take up to 4 years, unless I needed an emergency op, which I was told could occur at any time (my intestines were in the possibility of 'twisting' in which case I'd be given an immediate operation). Then 2 years later, in 2008 I got a call one day 'an operation on Saturday has been cancelled, I know this only gives you 3 days notice but if you want to take the spot, you can',... so turning everything upside down we decided to take the spot.
15 mins before the operation while I casually asked how soon after the operation I would be able to re-insert my belly button banana bar, I was told I was to lose my belly button as part of the operation. I'd have a 28cm long scar vertically mid belly with a light metal gauze going 5cm on either side, no belly button. I gasped - unable to inform my hubby that he'd have a belly button less wife -. My last thoughts before slipping under the total anaestethic were ' I can't imagine not having a belly button '...
Recovery was difficult at first as I wasn't allowed to lift anything, it was all the hassle of recovering from my emergency caesarean for my son's birth all over again but times x3 - this was a much bigger operation -. I first went to a tattoo shop 3 months after the operation asked how they could 'do something anything' to make my belly into 'something'. I didn't want to hide the scar, but wanted somehow to make it into some kind of feature. Something needed doing.
Nobody wanted to touch my belly as the scar was red and raised and the feeling of the metal gauze was freaky with the tattoo artists poking my belly and saying they could feel 'nothing but screws' underneath my skin and they said their needles would jump, I'd be in agony etc...
Finally a permanent make up artist who was starting out as a tattoo artist said she could do 'something' with it. I allowed her to go under the scar, the result 5 hours later was absolutely horrifying. My belly wish I was kind of disliking, I was now severely hating: she'd totally botched it. My husband was in shock that I had allowed her to butcher me like this: but no tattoo artist had wanted to help me out or offer any encouraging advice, I felt desperate. She said she had a steady hand due to the permanent make up and I didn't realize how different a coil machine is to ,master to a make up tattoo machine. The stencil looked good and by the time I realized she was clueless in tattooing the damage was already done.
I had to wait for everything to heal & then convince other artists to create a cover up. I then decorated myself (as I am a trained experienced bodypiercer) some vines I had done on my ribs, to the side of the mid scar (by a cheap but not too bad Camden/ London UK tattoo artists) with microdermal implants & skindivers. The result is quite 'excentric' looking but people like it. It looks like a mad 'garden' with 2 skulls rising up above it, bejewelled vines to the side & above the skulls I had the words 'Carpe Diem' tattood. Seize the moment, or seize the day. I am married to a lovely man with the surname DAY, so I literally seized,... the Day. That's my inner joke, humour though people who don't know my surname through marriage, think it's a quote from 'Dead Poets Society - Robin Williams' (great film, don't mind that assumption).
Also: I went to Subversion (an alternative club with quite a few modified people attending) and for the one and so far only time dared to wear a top revealing my belly and people came up to me gasping in admiration, thinking I had somehow done this perfectly straight raised red scar mid belly by body modification, purposely,... every-one thought the skull tattoos were great and glittering microdermal/ skindivers were awesome (I have about 60 in my belly now). The mess the permanent make up artist did is very low down on my belly & covered, though still a bit messy despite cover up with roses, flowers (& as I'm venturing into scarification, branding I've also tried to DIY carve a heart into it) - that part of my belly is,... in my knickers and hardly exposed... I've found peace with it. I take responsibility for allowing someone with no tattoo experience lose on my belly for 5 hours, it's life, one lives and learns. My belly is truly unique, nobody has one which even remotely looks at mine and the end result was achieved by my pregnancy, NHS surgeons, a permanent make up artist, myself (piercer), a cheap tattooist in Camden & some kind artists agreeing to do a cover up of the permanent make up artist's mess for a very agreeable price,...
& hey how many people have to carry a paper to say they will set off the security sensors at airports due to large bits of metal underneath their belly skin?...
That's my belly story,... hope you enjoyed.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 17 March 2011
in Multi-navels and Navel Projects