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When I was 12 or 13, I decided that I wanted to get my navel pierced.
I don't remember where I got the idea from; I just decided that they were cute and I wanted one. However, I knew that my mother would never let me, so I decided to wait.
At fourteen, I did my first self-piercing. It was a 3rd hole in my
lobe; nothing exciting. But after a while I began putting more earrings in by myself. Within a few months I did my own cartilage and had several lobe piercings. It was then that I decided to pierce my own navel.
I went to the mall and bought a ring at Claire's. It was very small,
Claire's brand, 18 gauge and made out of 24 kt gold over surgical steel. But I thought it would be fine. (Mistake # 1: the wrong kind of body jewelry.) When I got home, I took out the gold ring and put it in a bowl with rubbing alcohol. (Mistake # 2: improper sterilization.) I also placed a sewing needle in the bowl. (Mistake # 3: bad needle.) Then I set to work. I wiped my belly with rubbing alcohol, marked the spot, and started stabbing the needle through. It was really hard to push through, and the whole process took me over an hour. Finally, I got the ring in, wiped it with rubbing alcohol one more time, and went on with my day. It was a bit reddish purple and quite swollen, but I thought that was normal, and so I paid little attention to it.
That night, I slept on my stomach, which irritated it. (Mistake #
4.) From then on, I cleaned it 3 or 4 times a day with rubbing alcohol. (Mistake # 5: too much cleaning with a bad cleanser.) And, I never wore the right kind of clothes to allow my piercing to "breathe." I would wear tight shirts and one of those strapless bras that go down over your stomach and navel. (Mistake # 6: clothes that caused irritation.) The redness never went away. After 7 weeks, sadly, I took it out. I decided to get it repierced once it healed.
About 10 months later, I started wanting my navel repierced. This
time, though, I looked up a lot of information on the Internet about body piercing. I read all about procedures, aftercare, etc., until I knew exactly how to take care of it.
That weekend, I went to the mall again. I bought a 14 GA curved
barbell, some ear care solution (to sterilize my belly,) some thick sewing needles (only because I couldn't find any piercing needles,) and some softsoap.
I had read that to sterilize the body jewelry, you should use an
autoclave or a pressure cooker. Not having either of these, I sterilized the barbell in a pot of boiling water. I left it there for 45 minutes. The needle was soaked in ear care solution. Then, I went and took a shower, cleaning out my navel with soap as I did. I was a little nervous, but not too bad.
When the barbell was all clean and sterile, I brought it up to my
room, along with all my other supplies. I put on some music, and then wiped my hands all over with rubbing alcohol to sterilize them. Then, I took a marker and marked the spot where I would do the piercing. (Because of the old scar tissue, I had to put the mark slightly behind the site of the old piercing.) I wiped the navel a few times with the ear care solution, then lined up the needle with the mark and started pushing it through. It didn't really hurt, but then again, I have a rather high tolerance for pain. I kept pushing, but when I got to the bottom layer of skin, I couldn't get the needle to go through!! This was the part that took the longest. I spent about an hour struggling to get the needle through the last layer of skin, and then I finally managed.
Next I had to put the barbell in. It was a lot thicker than the
needle, so it was almost impossible to fit into the small hole. I struggled with it for a long time, until finally I managed to get it in. The first few days, it bled a bit and a clearish ooze came out. I kept some gauze over it for a few days to protect it. There was also some swelling and a LOT of redness. I had read that the redness was normal in a navel, though. So I kept washing it carefully, once a day with softsoap and once a day a warm saltwater soak. I was careful to wear only clean, loose cotton shirts, and changed my sheets regularly. Also, I took vitamins every day (one multivitamin and one vitamin C) to help speed the healing. Eventually, after about a month, the redness began to go down. I continued to take meticulous care of it, and after about two months, the redness was pretty much gone.
I've had my navel ring in for about 4 months now, and I love it. I
love showing it off, although sometimes the attention it attracts bothers me. The first day I wore a belly shirt to school, I was crowded by all these girls who asked me "did it hurt??" and "I can't believe you did it yourself!" People comment on it a lot, which is sometimes fun, but sometimes annoying. After all this time, my mom STILL hasn't found out about it. I'm not planning on letting her know about it until it's fully healed, so that way when she demands I remove the jewelrey, I can just go put it back in a few minutes later without worrying that it will close on me.
My dad can never find out. He has told me several times that if I
ever got a tattoo or body piercing, he would disown me. So for the rest of my life, even after I'm 18, I have to hide it from him. But it's ok since I don't see him much anyway since my parents are divorced. I can just wear one-piece bathing suits whenever I'm around him.
If you're thinking about getting your belly button pierced, I would
DEFINITELY recommend that you get it professionally done. Try as hard as you can to convince your parents to let you get it done. If that's not possible, get an older cousin or brother or sister to take you. Please don't do it yourself. I know I sound like a hypocrite, but I realize now how stupid I was for doing it myself, twice. And how lucky I am that it didn't get infected. If you're really desparate, and there's no other way, then do it yourself. But be careful. Do LOTS of research online about body piercing, aftercare, procedures, etc. Make sure you are VERY sterile about it, use only piercing needles if you can find them, and the right kind of body jewelrey.
If you have any questions about my experience, or if you're
contemplating doing it yourself and need advice, just email me and I'll get back to you.
Thanks for reading my story!! :o)
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 July 1999
in Navel Piercing