Five Holes for the Posession of One
I've been obsessed with modification since kindergarten but I was never allowed to have any. I was finally able to get my lobes pierced at about thirteen but only because my sister wanted it done, as well. Unfortunately, as with all peoples of the mod-ignorant masses, none of us knew it was unsafe to have it done at Wal-Mart and that is exactly what we did. To this day it still baffles me that my mother, who worked at a hospital for years, didn't think that it might be a bad idea. But that is not what this is about.
Even before I got my lobes pierced I wanted my navel but getting my lobes only increased my obsession and made me want my navel done more. I knew there would be none of that because I wasn't allowed to get any more piercings, and I wasn't about to be stupid enough to arouse my mother's suspicions by asking for it. Like that's gonna stop a teenager, especially one with overbearing and overly strict parents.
When I was fourteen, a friend of mine took it upon herself to pierce her own navel so I decided I would do the same. I knew it wouldn't be placed right because I didn't have the proper jewelry and that it would cause an undue amount of scarring at the very least but I didn't care. I knew all kinds of other bad things could happen but I was tired of having no freedom and I saw this as a chance to grab some, however fleeting, as I didn't actually intend on keeping it for more than a few hours or days at the most. I didn't want to keep it when it wasn't right; I just wanted the knowledge that I'd done it. I did want to get it done correctly some day.
One day when I decided the time was right, I took one of the studs used to pierce my lobes at Wal-Mart, iced up my navel, and shoved the thing through. Then, as planned, I took it out a short time later. I did this once more before deciding I wanted more.
The next time, I decided to push the envelope and leave it for two or three weeks instead. I wasn't able to make the three week mark either time because it rejected. I tried again later, this time switching the stud for a hoop. I had good jewelry and I didn't have any infection but I was being a little rough on it and it was only at 16 gauge. I attributed it to that but I was beginning to think that maybe I just wouldn't be able to keep a navel piercing. I decided not to give up until I'd had it done properly. Now, if only I could keep my interest in it since by the time I was fifteen everyone and their Pop Star was getting one.
I didn't think about it for about a year until a friend and I got into a discussion about piercings one day and we were talking about the ones we wanted. Not that it would do me any good because I wasn't allowed to have a job, I still wasn't allowed any more piercings, and I wasn't given an allowance.
Some months later, I had an appointment at the dermatologist to have a couple of moles removed (thank you fair skin), and being the curious person I am, I started looking in the drawers to see what kinds of torture devices they housed. One had a tray full of needles and, in my desperation for freedom and a new piercing, I pocketed one labeled 12 gauge.
A few months after that, my friend gave me a navel ring, knowing how much I wanted one and that I had the needle. I decided to do it right then and we both got excited. I cleaned the jewelry, needle, and area with alcohol. Then, I marked where I wanted it to go, making sure to get behind the bit of scar tissue I'd built up in hopes that it would keep it from rejecting again. All the scarring I'd caused was turning out to be a good thing but I could've gone about getting it a better way. I used the cap from the needle as a receiving tube and pushed it right through, not even thinking about lubing the needle. Nonetheless, it slid in easy and I couldn't even feel it. Next, came the hard part.
As I'd found just a few minutes prior, medical gauges are different from jewelry gauges. The needle was labeled as 12 gauge but it was the size of the 14 gauge jewelry. I had to pull the needle out and then insert the jewelry. It took a little working but I got it most of the way through. By that time, though, my hands were shaking because I was so nervous that my mother would come in the room. I ended up having to have my friend get it through the rest of the way. Getting the jewelry in hurt but less than a scratch would until it got to the last bit. But that still didn't hurt very much. Out of all the times I did it, it never bled a drop.
For aftercare, I cleaned it of crust in the shower until it stopped crusting a few weeks later and swabbed it with alcohol for about six weeks. I know alcohol can cause unnecessary scarring but I've always preferred it for everything, anyway. The healing process went perfectly and, as soon as I could, I switched to a 14 gauge CBR. I've always liked the look of hoops in the navel more and I snag CBBs too often.
It's been four or five years and it's migrated out quite a bit. It seems only the prior scarring has kept it from rejecting again.
Now, just because mine went well, that doesn't mean yours will. You should always go to a reputable piercer but if you insist on doing it yourself, research what all needs to be done first. And, please, at least have someone with you when you do it incase things go bad and you can't get yourself help.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 March 2007
in Navel Piercing