10 sizes in 18 months
My lobes had been pierced for 10 years when my stretching journey started back on February 27th, 2007, when I had my first stretch from a 20 gauge (gunned! yikes!) to a 10 gauge. Since gunned earrings aren't even really considered a gauge, and since the sizes between 20 and 10 are so small, this is the ONLY time you could ever go up so many sizes at once because it would be the equivalent of going up one or two larger sizes. I had decided that my first stretching goal would be my lower lobe piercings being at 0's, and the upper lobe piercings would be at 10's. Starting out so small hinders the time span in which I could achieve this since stretching isn't an instant gratification type of modification.
I was excited all day until I finally was able to get to the shop and have it done. I paid $50 for excellent quality 10 gauge color front glass plugs and 10 gauge captive bead rings (when you buy their jewelry the stretching is free!). Once I was up on the table my excitement level went way up. I knew it would obviously have a tearing feeling to it, but I had no idea what it would feel like. My piercer sterilized the jewelry, took multiple q-tips, the sterilization liquids, and finally the two tapers. After cleaning off my lobes she lathered the tip of the 14 gauge taper in surgical lube and instructed me to take a deep breath in and blow it out slow and hard. That first stretch on the bottom lobe piercing was very simple; it had a little tugging sensation, but nothing painful at all. She instructed me to do the breathing again as she followed the first taper with the 10 gauge taper. That second stretch was the stretch that had the tearing feeling to it. She smoothly followed
the second taper with the captive bead ring. She then went to work on my second lobe piercing on the same ear. Same procedure, but this time it had a dull aching pain on top of the slight tearing sensation to it because the piercing was much closer to cartilage. After both my ears were finished I was beaming with happiness. I checked out my newest additions in the mirror for a long while, then tottled on home. My mom wasn't too thrilled because she really dislikes stretched piercings, to say the least; but she was happy that I was happy. Since this was my first lobe stretching ever, I do think they took a bit longer to fully heal. They itched like crazy for the first couple days, and soaking them with warm salt water felt amazing. After it had been long enough, I began taking them out occasionally to clean them and I noticed they would bleed a little. That subsided in time with no issue and I was eager to stretch again.
My next move up the gauge chart didn't come until November 2nd, 2007. I guess you could say I waited so long because I'm a little obsessive on thoroughness of things, so I wanted my first stretch to be nice and healed before I stretched again. This time I was only stretching my bottom lobe piercings, and was unsure if I could go to a 6 gauge, or just to an 8. I paid $28 for a pair of clear, single flare glass plugs. I went in a hopped up onto the table expecting the same sensations as last time. The first taper up to an 8 gauge didn't have a tugging feeling to it though; it actually felt very nice. It was then determined that I could go up to a 6 gauge that stretch. The second taper up to the 6 gauge did have the same tearing sensation as I remembered. After that was all said and done, I once again left feeling extremely pleased. In the shower the next day I realized that this stretch was extra fun because this is when I could see through the hole! (Thanks clear plugs!) I had no itching, and besides a tiny bit of dried blood the next morning, there was no bleeding at all; instead, they discreeted a lot of lymph during the first two to three days. I really enjoyed when they had healed because I could take them out to clean them, and could just look through the little hole what was barely visible.
After another long wait in between stretching, April 5th, 2008 came when I stretched again. I hadn't planned on going in to get anything done; I just wanted to check out all the new jewelry the girls at the shop just got in. Since my piercer had flown to California to get all of the said jewelry, I decided I would bake some brownies to take in. While eating brownies, chatting, and checking out jewelry my mom said she would pay for me to stretch that day. I was really shocked! She said she just wanted me to go up to a 4 gauge. I just said how it would save money on plugs if my lobes could go to a 2 gauge today, and she reluctantly agreed. We grabbed a pair of clear 4 gauge plugs and a pair of 2 gauge navy blue color front glass plugs. During stretching the first taper up to 4 gauge again felt very nice, and determined that my lobes could go up to the 2 gauge (yes!). During the taper to the 2 gauge, again, was the part of the stretch with the tearing sensation. It was a very in teresting stretch because that is when I realized that my right lobe stretched a bit easier than my left. The navy blue of the plugs was beautiful, and apparently looked good with my skin tone. Afterwards we paid $25 for the plugs that had originally been priced at $32 (hey, it pays to be friendly!). That evening, as I admired plugs online, my lobes had the normal after-stretching throbbing; and again only discreeted lymph the first few days but definitely not the same amount as last time. No bleeding or itching.
What was the shortest wait in between stretches; on August 15th, 2008 I did my final stretch up to 0 gauge. A friend of mine who had stretched past 0 gauge gave me some plugs that she had never worn. They are the Trans Green Sparkle single flare, glass color front plugs, which you can find on Body Art Forms. Although she had never worn them, I boiled them for a few minutes to at least somewhat "disinfect" them. So my mom and I went on down to the shop, although she clearly stated that she wished my 2 gauge stretch would be my last one. Since I had my own jewelry to stretch with this time, the cost was only $10. I wasn't quite sure how this stretch would feel. With all my other stretches it was with two tapers because I was going up two sizes, but with this one I was only going up one size (granted it is a larger jump in size). So it would either be pleasure or pain... or a little of both. When the 0 gauge taper was sliding in it wasn't necessarily the very pleasant feeling that the previous first tapers gave me, but it also did not have that much of a tearing sensation to it. It was pretty much a happy medium of the sensations. It's been three days since my final stretch, and my lobes have not descreeted much lymph at all, not even after warm showers or salt water soaks. No bleeding or discomfort of any kind thus far, and I'm thinking things are lookin' pretty good for my lobes.
A year and a half and ten sizes later, I have reached my goal of 0 gauge bottom lobe piercings and 10 gauge top lobe piercings. It was a very fun and fulfilling little adventure, and I'm very glad to have done it. Will I stretch them again in the future?: Maybe, but probably not. I really like the size I'm currently at because it's a very flexible size. It's big enough that it's not tiny and I can buy a variety of jewelry, but they're also not so big that the tissue can't return to normal (over time) if I ever decide to downsize. I guess we'll see in the future!
I suppose it could also be noted that as my bottom lobes climbed up the size chart, the more apparent it became that the woman who had done my second lobe piercings had done them slightly un-even. I'm the only one who can notice it since I look at my ears far more than anyone else, but it still doesn't fairly justify uneven piercings, so always go to a real professional!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Sept. 2008
in Ear Piercing