"How many sit-up's do you do a day?" "None, why?" "The needle's stuck!"
My story is a little lengthy, but it includes some valid and useful advice and is a detailed account of my navel piercing experience.
From the age of around 11/12 years old, I have admired the beauty of navel piercings. From the moment I saw them, I knew I would have to get one. So here I am, aged 16 with a beautiful piece of metal in my belly button! At this point, I did have 3 lobe piercings, 1 retired lobe piercing and an 8mm flesh tunnel in the other ear. I thought this would be a perfect first "real" piercing as most of my research had resulted in the same feedback - not much pain, easy to look after and long lasting!
My mum isn't totally against piercings, but it takes some convincing to prove to her how serious you are about getting a piercing. Me and my two sisters have all had one piercing at 16 years old, a tongue, a lip and now my navel.
So rewind about 7 months, to December. Mother books and holiday over Christmas and refuses to allow a piercing so close to a holiday (so the piercing has enough time to heal before being exposed to chlorine swimming pools, etc). So, my dream is postponed for another month. But hey, what's another month when you've been waiting 5 years?!?
So I tell all my friends that I'm going to get my belly button pierced and low and behold, my friend gets hers done just to rub my face in the fact that I have to wait! So by this point I'm pissed off about the fact that it's going to look like I'm copying her and that I've been talking about it for years longer than her. But anyway, I wanted it pierced so much that this was easy enough to ignore.
So, I go away on holiday to Egypt and have an amazing time, always with the reminder of a needle piercing my stomach when I get home to sunny old England!
When I return home, I speak to my two best friends about coming with me to Tribaland in Rosehill, just a bus journey away from my house to get my belly button pierced. Tribaland is an excellent studio, with lots of good feedback. Both my sisters having their tongue and lip pierced there and only having sung their praise. So whilst speaking to my friend, she decides that she will get hers pierced at the same time.
So, come Thursday, I arrange with my friends to meet me and get the bus to Tribaland. However, my mother, being as awkward and annoying as she possibly can be at all times, decides a few minutes before I need to leave that I can only go through with it if either she or one of my sisters goes with me to make sure the needles are clean, etc. So after a long debate, both my sisters and my two friends, one of which is getting hers done at the same time, and I set off to Rosehill.
We arrive at Tribaland and go to the counter. "Two navel piercings please!" In reply to this, and much to our dismay, "I'm sorry, the piercer is only in on Sundays". So, we all return home, very disappointed, especially my friend as she cannot make Sundays due to seeing her family. Tribaland usually give £5 off the piercing in this instance, but unfortunately, not to us for some reason.
I ask my friend if she would mind if me and my mum went get it done without her, and being a good friend, she is fine with this.
So, that Sunday, mother and I drive to Tribaland. I fill out the sufficient forms, pay the £35 and sit down and wait for around 10 minutes for the equipment to be prepared. By this point my nerves are really starting to kick in...
As I was called into the 'back room' to be pierced. I was so scared I almost backed out. But I knew I couldn't do that, I'd come all this way and had a lot of hassle and worry over this. It was too late and too important to me to back out. So in I go, shaking like a leaf.
I was told to stand completely straight to be cleaned and marked up. I was a little worried that she was going to stab me with the needle which is completely ridiculous as this piercing is always performed either sitting or laying down! So after I had been marked and clamped, I was told to lie down, which was fine with me as my legs were starting to shake with fear, haha, what a wuss, eh!?!
My mum was stood behind me, holding my hand above my head. So after a few seconds, I got the usual "Take a deep breath in and slowly exhale". So reluctantly, I took a deep breath in, knowing what was about to come and thinking "It's too late to back out, I have to do this!" So, as the needle entered my stomach, I crushed mother's hand. It seemed to take a long time but I just thought it seemed longer than it did. I could only feel a small amount of pain as the clamp was luckily numbing most of it. Suddenly, I heard "How many sit-up's do you do a day?" And I thought, what a strange question, maybe it's just making conversation and answered, "None, why?" Her reply was "Your stomach muscles are very strong". At this point I was thinking, how strange, so I looked down and saw her bent over my belly, trying to force this needle through my muscles. At this point, I noticed that in my fear, I'd tensed up so much that she was physically too weak to force the needle through my flesh.
She told me to relax and reluctantly I did, thinking it was the only way for this to be over. After relaxing my apparently strong stomach muscles, the piercing was finished and the jewellery was put in. I remember pain, but it was bearable and probably due to the needle being stuck and forced through my tensed muscles.
I looked in the mirror (and liked it at this point, but didn't study it in too much detail thanks to the adrenaline and endorphins running through my system) in the studio and had my hand slapped away by the piercer as I went to touch it, which is understandable. Unfortunately, I didn't get to choose my jewellery, but I luckily got a beautiful white gem banana barbell, which I was very happy with! I was patched up and sent on my way.
So, we set off home. I was ecstatic about the fact that I'd gone through with it!
When I got home, I peeled off the bandage and had a quick look at my new metal. I had a chance to study it at this point as the endorphins and adrenaline had gone and I was feeling quite calm... Until I saw it close up. IT WAS CROOKED! I was livid and I didn't know what to do. So I ran downstairs to my parents and sisters. I showed them and asked them if it was noticeable and they said no. After an hour or two of worrying, I decided that it could just be swelling and may even out in a few days.
I looked after it, cleaning it religiously with salt water soaks and anti-bacterial soap (I highly recommend Cuticura to anyone wanting to know a good anti-bac soap) for about a month. When the swelling had gone, it was still crooked so I decided that I'd tape it to the side with micro-porous tape and hopefully it would heal over a little more. This method did help a little but it wasn't the most effective.
I decided that I loved it too much to take it out and get it re-pierced and that it didn't matter all that much that it wasn't perfectly straight (even though I'm a little bit of a perfectionist!)
Over-all, I still love my beautiful belly button piercing, crooked and all! I only had one or two minor infections that cleared right up with salt soaks and anti-bacterial soap. I think I may have played with it too much however during the healing period. My personal solution to the crookedness is wearing a multi-coloured titanium spiral ring (which sometimes looks like I have two piercings which is cool). I don't only wear it because my piercing is bent; I had seen pictures of these rings before the fiasco and liked the way they looked. My advice to anyone contemplating this piercing is to go for it! But remember NOT to tense unless you want a crooked and painful piercing!
P.S. If you were wondering, my friend went to get hers done a month later at a different place and hers turned out completely fine!
This is definitely not my last piercing. I have, as they say, caught the 'piercing bug' and have already decided on a few more conquests!
I very much hope that my story and advice has been useful and not scared you off of getting this beautiful body modification. Good luck and happy piercing!
submitted by: Phanie;Rash
on: 01 Sept. 2008
in Navel Piercing