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Best Birthday Present

ef = "/cgi-bin/vote/votec.cgi?/pierce/07-navel/990415/bestbday.html"> Best Birthday Present

About a year after my son was born, a friend and I started toying with the idea of getting pierced and/or tattooed. She was more in favor of getting some ink done, but I found the idea of body jewelry much more appealing. She suggested that due to my once- again (finally) flat belly, a navel piercing would be just the thing..kind of a reward for getting back in shape. I liked the idea - to me, it would be a little secret I had from all the people who saw me as a mainstream working mom. After some convincing, Kate decided she would get one too, so we chose our location (Piercology in Columbus, OH), and set a date to go, which coincided with my 26th birthday.

I didn't tell my husband about our plans, and he was definitely looking sideways at us girls as we giggled and piled into the car to go do the deed. It was a gorgeous June morning, and we were having a splendid time. After searching around the location where we knew Piercology was supposed to be, we finally realized it was below street level, and made our way through the t-shirt- and-novelty store that was right above it. Although in a block basement, it was very clean & well lit, while at the same time maintaining a funky atmosphere with lots of purple, white, and black. I went up to the counter to look at the variety of jewelry and wait for someone to come help us. Finally, a fairly young guy came out of one of the side rooms and asked what were we interested in today? I told him right away a belly ring, and asked if he could see me. I probably blushed, and lifted my shirt to expose the area in question. He cocked his head sideways, and then the other way (as I'm wondering if I have an odd appearance), and then asked me where in particular I wanted the piercing! He quickly took pity on my blank look, and reached out to grab the little lip of flesh at the top of my navel. "You'll probably need to get it in the top, since it doesn't look like you have enough skin below or on the side. Is that what you want?" I agreed, and proceeded to select my jewelry...a simple 14 gauge ring & captive bead combination in stainless, which was immediately whisked away to be autoclaved, steam-cleaned, boiled, and cleaned in every way possible. I sat down to complete my paperwork, and Kate sat down with me to peruse the body mod magazines in the waiting room. After about 20 minutes of this, she decided that now was not the time for her piercing experience..and I was not feeling quite as jubilant as I had earlier, but still wanted to go through with it. So we sat and grinned at each other, and rolled our eyes considering my husband's possible reactions to my new jewelry. This is a guy who thinks an earring on a man is pretty hard core stuff, so we knew some of those reactions might not be particularly pretty!

Finally a piercer was available, and she came to retrieve my jewelry and take me into one of the rooms. We all went in together, and I sat down in the guest of honor's chair under bright but soft indirect lighting. She had me unzip, unbutton, and tuck until my torso was bare from panties to bra, although I was still dressed (an interesting look). I reclined in the chair while she chatted with us about her various piercings, several of which were visible in eyebrows and nose. After marking and exact puncture location with a black pen, she gloved up, swabbed me with cleaning solution, and affixed a clamp to the top lip of my navel. A sort of numb feeling appeared immediately, and I relaxed, figuring that after having delivered an 8 lb. baby with no pain medication, this little pinprick would be cake! Kate kindly pointed out to me that my piercer was opening a sterile needle. I sat up to look, and noted that it was considerably larger and longer than what I had envisioned, and I had a moment of unease. Then Kate and I both looked at each other (she must have been thinking the same thing), and we burst out laughing, which relaxed me again. The piercer approached me and I could feel her getting situated, and then I felt something that seemed to be much larger than the needle I saw being driven through my skin, coming out with an almost audible "pop" on the other side. I lay quietly, contemplating the fact that this did definitely hurt more than getting my ears pierced, when she returned with a hand mirror. "Tell me what you think." What, it was done? I maneuvered the mirror, and sure enough, there was the ring and bead, firmly in place. Success! I thanked her happily for a job well and skillfully done, and rearranged my clothes, shorts unbuttoned so they would hang below my waist. After being instructed on aftercare and given some more information, we were sent on our way with friendly smiles from the Piercology people and encouragement to come back for our next ones! As we walked through the waiting room, a couple of girls who were there asked me how it had been, had it hurt? I felt happy and a little giddy.."No, not at all!" The endorphins propelled me back up the stairs and out into the sunshine.

I have been greatly pleased with my piercing. It healed very quickly, due to good old fashioned liquid antibacterial soap, and I debuted my new body jewelry a couple months later on our summer vacation. It has been source of pleasure and pride in my own individuality many times, and has even scored me "coolness points" with my niece and nephew (and just about everybody else who catches a glimpse of it!) I would recommend it to just about anybody looking for a new, unique way to adorn and enjoy his or her body.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 April 1999
in Navel Piercing

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