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My first body piercing and a new shiny navel!

My only piercing experience until two days ago had been a total botch-job of what should have been a completely simple standard ear piercing session at a well-known posh ladies' boutique when I was 11. On that day, I'd waited for over an hour to be pierced, nervous as hell, before being told that the piercer had gone home early. The manager then came out, on his lunch hour, and said he'd do it for me. He had no piercing experience, didn't clean or mark my ears, and just shot two studs into my lobes as he saw fit. Needless to say, the infection was awful, and I lost both studs within six weeks. My lobes are now so scarred that I can't get them done again.

Even after eight years, the memory of this experience left me more than a little nervous about having a needle driven through such a sensitive bit of me as my belly button!! However, I needn't have worried.

All of the people I know locally who have piercings got them done at Mike's Tattoos - a small shop that stands out in a derelict part of the city as being clean with a well-maintained and brightly coloured shop front. So off I went.

Jill the piercer - who also works at the reception - is a nice enough girl, a bit blunt and unresponsive though, which made me feel awkward about asking any questions. However, she knew what she was doing with her needles, and she did a very quick and clean job. Although at Mike's you don't get a choice of jewellery - the only option is a jewelled banana barbell, which makes me wonder what they do if a guy wants his navel done...anyway. I chose one with a pale green stone, although now I wish I'd gone for a clear one!

I stood as she cleaned my navel and marked me up with a purple marker. She never asked my opinion of the placement, but I was too nervous to complain! I lay flat on my back on the couch, eyes firmly on the ceiling, not wanting to see anything going on (I'm really phobic of needles!!). My fiance was there with me and he reassured me that everything was fresh from sterile packets.

The stories I read on BME are right - the clamp really is the worst part. It just felt like a hard, hard pinch. I squeaked and clenched my toes at each new pinch, but Jill used PLENTY of numbing spray on my skin which I was grateful for! The needle just felt like another squeeze of the clamp. Despite her minimal communication, Jill gave me a perfectly lined-up piercing which also goes good and deep so I don't think this baby is going anywhere!

It was all over within a minute, although it felt more like ten. I sat up and had a good look at my shiny new addition, which twinkled happily in the middle of a large patch of very red and very SORE skin! The walk home was not entirely happy - to be honest the stinging ache as the spray wore off was MORE painful than the piercing had been. And I don't handle pain well - I was whining at my fiance all the way home, dear tolerant thing that he is...

It seems to be doing pretty well so far. I haven't had any pus or crustiness or anything I was expecting - just slight redness around the hole, and a patch of reddened, slightly bruised skin where the clamp was. I'm giving it salt soaks two or three times a day, and using Arnica cream for the bruising. And I'm resisting the urges to fiddle with it! It's now calmed down enough that I can slide the bar back and forth in the hole to keep it loose, although as I said there has been no stickiness or weeping since the first few hours after getting it done.

If anyone is reading this and are worried about how much it might hurt - last night I put a very loose dressing over it, not to cover it but just to stop myself from knocking or scratching it in my sleep. You're not supposed to cover it but it was only for a few hours! And I can say with the utmost confidence that peeling the plaster away from the tiny little invisible hairs on your belly skin hurts about a million times more than the piercing!! I'm not dressing it again - knocking the stud is nothing compared to the pain of pulling off the sticking plaster.

I am delighted with my piercing and have many more planned for the future. Plus I've already picked out some new jewellery for when I can change the bar!

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 June 2007
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Jill
Studio: Mike%27s+Tattoos
Location: Carlisle%2C+UK

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