two uteri, two mamas pregnant, AGAIN, with baby number two

tattoos and piercings February 7, 2008

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 10:45 pm

S is all tattooed up. you can see an unfinished one growing with her belly. we both have tattoos (S’s legs are almost totally covered) and we both have, at various times, had many things pierced. S used to work in a tattoo shop as a piercer.

oh the days when we were hot and edgy.

anyhoo, i LOVE seeing tattoos on her belly, it reminds me that we are interesting and weird. it makes me even more proud to be an alternative family.

and i want to pierce our girls ears. when she is a baby. i know this is very unpopular and my good friend just gave me the ‘don’t make choices for her body’ lecture, which i could have given someone else a few years ago. but now?

i wanna. it’s cute. after having a kid i see how many decisions we make for them anyway, even when we think we are not. how we influence every aspect of their person, their language, their palate. we surround them with colors we like, and our world view. we show them what it means to be loved and to love, because they watch us and absorb everything. they are going to learn how to feel about themselves not by watching how we feel about ourselves, not how great we tell them they are. they learn how to be treated by future partners and family by watching how our partners and family treat us.

so, i don’t know, it just seems normal to pierce her ears. i don’t see how it is really so crazy, for us, in our household. we are pierced. and weird. and i’m 1/2 mexican. haha! and honestly, if she doesn’t like it later she can take them out and have some 30 second futuristic laser surgery that will return her lobes to their virginal state.

S doesn’t exactly agree with me though. i think she’s afraid of hurting her. from what i understand it doesn’t really hurt them and it heals fast. now, people make this argument all the time about circumcision, which i am totally against, so i know folks will think i’m a giant hypocrite and a barbarian. iknowiknowiknow. beauty shouldn’t be painful. it’s shallow. let them decide. it’s sexist. blah.

but it’s soooo cute to me (and not because people will know she’s a girl – i don’t give a rats ass about that). and her pediatrician can do it. i grew up in a home where it was SUCH a big deal to pierce anything and SUCH a big deal to die your hair. even though my parents were hippies they were nature hippies and didn’t support altering your body. whatever.

but holy crap, i didn’t realize people felt SO strongly about this. and no i’m not going to tattoo her. i know you all think i’m barbaric anyway.

we’ll see how i feel when she’s actually here. i’ll probably chicken out. and S probably won’t let me anyway.


19 Responses to “tattoos and piercings”

  1. whathef*ck Says:

    obviously you know i had my pediatrician pierce our baby’s ears. i love how it looks. it is fierce. but i wont sugarcoat it for you (why start now?). she wigged. she doesnt even cry when she gets shots but she wigged when her ears were pierced. the doctor said the noise really freaks babies out. okay. sure. whatever. so you’d have to be prepared for that. she stopped crying within a few minutes but she just cried so damn hard on each ear. it was fucking brutal and i felt like such a hypocritical vain asshole. right you know legoboy isnt circumcised and there are possible health repurcussions there but i pierced my daughter’s ears because it looks cute. yep.

  2. Lynn Says:

    I can totally dig what you are saying. Little girls with pierced ears are friggin adorable. Personally, I wouldn’t do it to my daughter (not that you asked me what I would do…) But I certainly think it is a fine thing to do. I circumcised my son, of course I am Jewish so I can hide behind that ;), but I would still have done it even if I wasn’t. I say, do it if you want to and don’t feel bad about it. I certainly don’t think she will be scarred by it, and it will save you both from potentially hearing a tween complain first about not having her ears pierced like “all the other girls” and then from having her talk about how much it hurt while begging for an ice cream cone at the mall…

  3. vee Says:

    It’s really common in the UK, particularly in Asian communities and certain sectors of white communities and you’re right, it does look pretty. I didn’t get mine pierced until I was 12 though and I still remember how utterly thrilling and grown up that felt. For that reason alone, I would wait (if I ever had a daughter) – I wouldn’t want her to miss that buzz.

  4. Susan Says:

    I know which camp I am firmly entrenched in on both ears and penis’…but since they aren’t my children I shall instead wish you good luck in making your decision!

  5. j Says:

    You know, I’m not for this because of the choice thing, but you also know how I feel I feel about circ so I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say anything you’ve not already heard from someone else, and maybe someone who doesn’t love you like I do.

    The only thing maybe you’ve not considered is…I dunno, at least for me, ALL of my piercings have a story, and tell a story that is personal for me, reflecting choices I’ve made at different times in my life – just as all of my tattoos have that kind of meaning. The day I got my ears pierced for the first time was so incredibly special for me, and was such a great bonding moment with my own mother – I’m so thankful to have it.

    We can talk more later:)

  6. Calliope Says:

    had my ears pierced at 3 months. Have no memory of it and no issues. & apparently people still thought I was a boy.

    HOWEVER- I did really enjoy getting my 2nd ear piercings in 7th grade. It felt like a rite of passage.

  7. Jude Says:

    I want to pierce our girl’s ears, too. I am Portuguese and Jen is 1/2 Puerto Rican and well, people get their baby girls’ ears pierced. It’s what you do. Besides I, like you, am pierced and proud!

    I haven’t done it yet, though, and she is 7 months. The pediatricians don’t do it here and the only place to get it done is the mall. I refuse to let a wacked-out teenager gun my kid’s ears at the nasty mall, you know?

    Just letting you know I have your back. I think it’s cute as hell too, and I am so anti-circ it’s not even funny. It just seems totally different to me. I suppose I’m rationalizing in my own head but HELLO, REALLY FREAKING CUTE.

  8. My grandsons each got an ear pierced maybe a year or so ago (ages 4 and 6). They wear a couple of different simple studs, and I think they look adorable. Personally, my own ears are way too sensitive to wear any kind of jewelry, but that’s just me. I also have 2 tattoos which I LOVE, so who am I to judge? Some days the boys wear their earrings, some days they don’t, and if they ever don’t want them anymore, all they need to do is leave them out for a while. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.


  9. Jeannette Says:

    I’m from P.R. and back in the day they did it right in the hospital when you were born. I love mine and never had issues with them. When I got my 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes, I felt like a rebel and I loved it! I had my daughter’s pierced at 5 months as soon as the pediatrician’s office would do it. Yes, she cried, but she got over it quickly. I like hearing about people’s rituals of taking their daughters to get it done when they are older if they want it, but i see it this way. There will be plenty of other opportunities to do grown up things that will thrill my daughter so I wasn’t really taking anything away from her. If she hates them, she can take them out and let them grow in. They did look pretty darn cute I must say. ; )

  10. shelli Says:

    I think it’s the cutest thing ever, too.

    But I must say that I felt SO empowered when I was 12, having saved up 6 dollars from babysitting, and was dropped off at the mall by my dad, and walked my proud-assed self to the ear-piercing store, complete with permission slip in hand, and then had to rotate the earrings daily and such to prevent it from sticking, and clean it daily with cotton balls dipped in hydrogen peroxide.

    It’s actually a fond memory of my childhood.

    So for whatever that’s worth….

  11. amy Says:

    we’re in the rite of passage camp. nothing wrong with doing it, but want her to have the experience of it when she’s old enough to ask. my good friend got both of her girls done at 3 months and is thrilled that she did.

  12. Jennifer Says:

    I don’t remember when I got mine done so there is no “rite of passage” stuff for me. Maybe that was part of the reason why I didn’t see the big deal in piercing L’s at 5 months old.

    Ped’s don’t do it here so I did go to a place in the mall that does it. They did both ears at the same time and there was very little crying involved. She’s never bothered them and never had a problem.

    Like you said, we make decisions for our children every day. Do what you (and S) think is best.

  13. mrsbluemont Says:

    i don’t find you barbaric and think you make a good argument here. i find it incredibly different from genital mutilation (aka circumcision) and piercings can heal and close. i had a second hole done when i was in 5th grade and changed my mind in my late teens and took it out. don’t feel bad and make the decision with s. good luck!

    oxxo -another tatted mum (to be)

  14. Erika Says:

    I’m Mexican. Full blooded. Living in Mexico. So I can totally understand where you’re coming from when you mention you’re Mexican. It’s part of the culture. All little girls in Mexico get their ears pierced.

    I don’t know what the hell my mother was thinking when she didn’t pierce mine at birth, though. I had to practically BEG her to have mine done at around 7, and she only let my because my paternal grandfather would not take no for an answer to piercing my 4 yr old sister’s ears. (How sad, I only managed to get mine because my little sister was… pathetic)

    Anyway. Do it when she’s a baby if you can convince S. There were no piercing guns here in Mexico back then (at least none in Puerto Vallarta in 84) so we had to do it the old way, just jam a really sharp earring through. Luckily my mother had saved her piercing earrings from when she had hers done at 20 something in Hong Kong I think (so now that I think about it maybe not piercing ears as a baby was a thing my mom’s family did… hmmm) and she had my aunt’s as well, so we both got ours done with surgical steel earrings which I still wear to this day.

    Since it was done until I was 7, I can vividly remember the pain, how uncomfortable I was, how they got swollen and I couldn’t sleep right at night (no, they were never infected) and how much I HATED having to turn the damn things so they wouldn’t stick. They especially hurt in the mornings.

    Also, a few doctors have said that probably it was that whole do-it-til-she’s-grown thing that caused me to be SEVERELY allergic to anything that’s not hypoallergenic or precious metals.

    As for the rite-of-passage thing? Not at 7. Back then I just wanted to look like all the other girls at school, I just so desperately wanted to fit in. My true rite of passage was when a friend pierced my right ear with my 3rd and 4th piercings at around 14. I felt soooo grown up and rebellious then.

    So, my advice, should you ever want it is to just do it, NOW. Oh and I’ve never had one of those gun piercings so I don’t know how loud that gets, so you might want to consider the decibel level before you decide to go that route, since baby’s hearing is quite delicate and easily damaged. You could just as easily have it done the old fashioned way, as long as you’re careful. Baby’s ears are so soft the piercing will be really easy anyway, and there are no special or dangerous nerve endings to damage there, so anyone can do it.

    Sorry for the rant. I tend to do that.

  15. bleu Says:

    My question is if it isn’t about her being a girl then why didn’t you do it to your baby boy? It seems really engendering to me. Whether you think she feels it or not, you do not stick steel through flesh, piercing it, without there being pain, on some level.

  16. Co Says:

    I’m Italian-American, so culturally piercing a baby girl’s ears doesn’t faze me. My baby cousins all have pierced ears. I don’t know what I would want to do if we have a girl. I probably wouldn’t want to pierce my daughter’s, actually, but that’s because my own ear piercing story wasn’t so great.

    [Pointless tangent follows…] Mine weren’t pierced as a baby because my mom was Polish/Ukrainian and refused to cave in to my Italian grandmom’s wishes (er…demands) and told me I could get them pierced if I wanted when I was 18…no sooner. A couple years after my mom died, my grandmom forced me to get them pierced and I cried the whole time because I was defying my dead mom’s wishes. I almost never wear earrings today and the damn holes refuse to close up. So, there was no point in me sharing that… but it’s an example of the remnants of culture clash over the piercing question, I guess.

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a big deal, whatever you and S. choose.

  17. anniepouf Says:

    delurking here! As wierdo as it is to have ’em pierced at the mall, I’d highly suggest it. Go watch them do it a couple of times first. they might have a age minimum. My friend got her 2.5 y/o pierced at the mall and they did both ears at once, so the kid only has to be freaked out once, then it’s over.
    *I* on the other hand, had it done when I was 7 (after *begging*) and my mom took me to the pediatrician. Who didn’t do it everyday. The holes were a little off center and crooked through my ear. Eventually I had to let them grow shut and wait a year, then got them re-pierced at the MALL, correctly.

  18. TTC4years Says:

    I got my first set of ear piercings with my Grampa and my Aunt, both of whom are passed now. There is not a time that I pass by a Piercing Pagoda without remembering that moment. I was about 10… of course I totally freaked out after the first ear, but they convinced me to do the second. Anyway, it was a dear memory. And my Mom had made me wait so much longer than my friends, it was really appreciated. My first real earrings were little unicorns– how cute was that?
    Later- when I was starting to think I was going to TTC I decided I should toughen up on needle phobia- I started getting accupuncture ( really huge for me) and then the ear piercing again- another rite of passage for me…I was so proud of myself for sticking it out. ( I am the biggest wimp ever.) So i got to have the experience 2x. ( man- it hurt alot more the second time;)

    Any choice you make will be right for her-is what I am trying to say- she can always get more piercings with the Mamas and build that memory…

  19. amanda Says:

    My mom bribed me with Barbie when i was about 4 years old. i wasn’t too traumatized, and ultimately i think the decision is up to you. We all interfere with each other’s family lives too much as it is!! 😉

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