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First non-ear piercing - my navel.

For the last few weeks, possibly months, I'd been considering getting a navel piercing, mainly because I didn't have any non-ear piercings and I was itching for something new, preferably something that wouldn't be seen. I still have a few months of school to go and I'm sick of compromising healing time on my ear piercings because I'm trying to hide them. The general stereotypical navel piercing these days seems to belong to midriff-baring, promiscuous teenage girls, which is partly why I chose this particular piercing. I seem to have difficulty with dealing with others' perception of me a lot of the time, so this was, in a way, a kind of exercise in dealing with my own stereotypes and judgement. Sometimes I need reminding that having a little piece of metal through my skin won't suddenly change the person I am just because others think it might. Day 0 - Getting pierced. On Saturday I was downtown at the University of Auckland open day, and I had some cash on me for a change, so after wandering around uni for most of the morning and attending various mini-lectures, Ian (my boyfriend) and I headed down to Ballistic Tattoo on Queen Street. Ian was pretty reluctant to come in with me - he's one of those guys that you can't imagine with a piercing or tattoo of any form - so he hung around by the door while I got myself unnecessarily worked up as I always do before a piercing. I waited as two other women had their navels pierced – it was like a piercing production line. These piercings were so speedy (though not in a careless way), you could tell exactly how often Blair, the piercer, had performed this particular piercing. Finally, I got to the counter, and asked for my piercing. I then filled in the form, and then Blair showed me the barbells I could choose from, but there was no Blackline or dark blue Ti, the two colours I'm aiming to colour-coordinate all my piercings with. Seeing as I'm chronically indecisive I just opted for a plain surgical steel barbell instead of anything jewelled, although I was rather tempted by a dark purple titanium bar with clear gems. Blair cleaned up the surface of his workbench and suchlike, then cleaned and marked up my navel, checking it was perfectly straight. Throughout the piercing he changed his gloves several times, as he did when he pierced my tragus – I have no doubts whatsoever when it comes to this studio's hygiene standards. A minute or two later, I was lying on the piercing bench, feeling like I would probably pass out if I stood up again because I was so (unjustifiably) nervous. The clamps went on - for once they actually didn't hurt at all. Then came the needle - a quick, sharp pain, and then the jewellery was inserted, which again I didn't feel. I stood up again, and Blair checked the piercing again and presumably cleaned it up. In order to distract myself beforehand I'd chatted about my various ear piercings, and asked if he could give my rook a quick clean-up – I find cleaning it pretty awkward and tend to miss most of the gunk that accumulates on and around it – so he then did that for me. We briefly discussed the merits of piercing conches at 1.6mm as opposed to 1.2mm (next on my list), and piercing sternums with Bioplast bars. He gave me the usual aftercare advice, I paid my NZ$50 (interestingly, this was $20 less than my little sister paid for the same piercing at the same studio), and off I skipped merrily with my shiny new piercing. Days 1 and 2 On Sunday I had work - that's eight hours standing at a supermarket checkout - and other than the occasional knock with a bag of carrots or similar inconvenient food item, the piercing held up pretty well. By the end of the day it was a little red around the top ball, but that's to be expected. No crusties yet, and cleaning is pretty easy as the bar moves freely. So far I've been too lazy to make a salt soak and I've been using the solution I was given by the piercer, it's the same brand of solution I've used since my very first lobe piercings at age 7. At first sitting down was a bit difficult as the bottom ball keeps getting pushed upwards, but it's fine now - I sat through a three hour History of Art exam today and it was fine. It's a little redder than it was, particularly around the top ball, but nothing serious. I can now feel the bar just beneath the skin, which worried me a little at first as I couldn't before – I wasn't sure whether that was normal or not, but after checking my sister's piercing, she assured me it was normal for hers.So far I'm pretty confident that I'm in for an uneventful healing process – fingers crossed!

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Sept. 2007
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Blair
Studio: Ballistic+Tattoo
Location: Auckland%2C+New+Zealand

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