The History of my Inverse Navel
I was never really a fan of navel piercings until I went to Sailing Camp. At the time, I was around 13, and had only really seen pierced navels on girls carrying extra weight and wearing super dangly jewelry with belly shirts. At camp, however, I noticed that most of the counselors had their navels pierced. These were toned, athletic, classy, college-aged girls wearing simple barbells with unique beads. My opinion of the navel piercing began to change, and after one of the counselors, Kristin, told me it didn't hurt and I'd look cute with one, I was sold.
There was, however, a "but".
"You know," she said, pinching the top of my navel. "You really don't have anything to pierce on top." And she was right. My navel is a spiral shape and shallow, with an indention on top instead of a flap. "You could always pierce the bottom though," Kristin added. "It'd be really unique."
When I got home, I started asking my parents, and got a firm "no". I brought it up occasionally for the next few years, and still got turned down. At 16, I started college through an early entry program and moved out. My parents control over me waned, and I was finally able to talk them into an inverse navel piercing. We went to the Outer Loop, a piercing-only studio that had been recommended by my friend who had gotten her daith pierced there. I asked for the same artist and, after my mother showed her ID and signed the forms, was asked to pick out jewelry. A CBR, they explained, would be less likely to get infected and would drain better. A barbell, on the other hand, was more popular and less likely to get caught on things than a CBR. I chose the CBR, figuring that it would have fewer problems with healing and I could always change over to a barbell in 6-8 weeks.
After a few minutes, I was called back to the piercing room. My mother refused to watch, so my brother came along to ensure that everything was sterile. Instead of a chair, they had the kind of padded exam table you'd find in a doctor's office. The artist put on gloves, wiped down the area with alcohol, then had me stand up so she could mark my belly with a new permanent marker. She asked me if I thought the marks looked ok, examined them for a few minutes and measured them, and then asked me to lie back on the table. She noted that since I'm thin, it would probably hurt a little more because the skin is tight, but that the clamp would probably be the most painful part. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, so I wasn't too worried.
She put on the clamp, which was simply a whispered "ow", then without any kind of warning, pierced it, which was an "owowow!" The piercing itself felt like a sharp, pinching sensation. It was over in a few seconds though, and putting the jewelry through was hardly any pain. She had trouble getting the bead in, though, which hurt a bit as the ring was tugging on my fresh piercing. Once everything was over, she explained about aftercare and told me her hours and days if I needed to consult her about any problems. She recommended sea salt soaks twice a day, removing crusties with a Q-tip, and washing in the shower with orange Dial antibacterial soap, rotating the ring as I cleaned it. In the next few days, my piercing got really sore and developed a bit of bruising. I wore loose shirts and low rise jeans and followed the aftercare instructions to the letter. Bending over hurt and my daily 5 mile run hurt, as the CBR was heavy and bounced a little in the piercing. Every once in a while I would knock the jewelry or someone would hug me and rub it the wrong way, but for the most part I kept it safe.
After about a week, the majority of the soreness was gone, but it still hurt any time it was touched and was quite red around the holes. It took about a month for the redness and soreness to go away. By six weeks, it looked and felt great, so I went in to have the jewelry changed.
The artist was shocked by how well it had healed, and accredited the success to good aftercare and good initial placement. She put a regular navel bar in it with one big bead and one little bead. I found this to be uncomfortable, though, since my navel is just too little and shallow to fit a big bead inside without it pushing on the piercing any time I bend over. Luckily, the piercing studio has inexpensive acryllic and surgical steel screw on balls that are the same size, so I bought several and they fit great. It's been three months since my piercing now, and I still follow aftercare. After taking a bath in a hotel, I ended up with an abscess and a sore piercing that oozed pus, but I added a third sea salt soak a day and within a week the infection was gone. I once got it caught on a friend's shirt when he lifted me up and threw me over his shoulder, and it set my healing back a bit. This is a piercing that you have to be really, really careful with. I've gotten so many compliments on how nice a piercing looks on a toned stomach and how unique it is to "have it upside down", though. I'm really happy I finally got my inverse navel!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 May 2008
in Navel Piercing