I thought that this year was the year I was going to get my tattoo (since it wasn't last year). But then I got all pregnant and stuff, and those type of things are advised against. Since the miscarriage, I've revisited the idea of getting the tattoo. But doing it now has given it that much more meaning.
Let me tell you, I was so nervous. Hubby came with me for moral support. I really wanted him there with me. Also, part of me wanted to have him there as a witness. We had arrived at the shop really early, so we had a light dinner at a nearby restaurant, Quinn's. For my tattoo, I went to Supergenius Tattoo on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and Paul was my artist.
I got a koi drawn in an Asian style on my ankle. I had it drawn up just for me. I brought in a reference, explained what I really liked and what I didn't like. I went the day prior for my consultation. When I returned the next day, he had the drawing and I got it done. It's on the inside of my right ankle, which I was warned was a painful spot. This is something I tried to be prepared for, since it's where I really wanted it.
Now I will answer the million dollar question - Did it hurt? Yes, it hurt. But as far as tattoos go, mine could have been worse. Mine is a line drawing, no shading or coloring. It took about an hour. Paul was really great through the whole thing and had a good touch. It hurts the most in the beginning. Your endorphins start to kick in and it hurts less after a while. Also, the adrenaline levels increase which helps with the pain. It felt like he did the tails last, since they were over my ankle bone. Those seemed to hurt the most, but probably not as bad as if he did them first. The best way I could describe it, is that it feels like getting scratched really hard. Very annoying, but not "I'm gonna die" type of pain. I've experienced worse pain than that.
Afterwards, I was shaking. At first, I thought it was because I was cold. And perhaps I was, but it's common with all the adrenaline. I felt like I had nearly missed getting in a car accident. I was advised that getting a tattoo can be like donating blood, and I should drink some juice or eat something. I did, and it helped. Right now, I'm taking care of it still with Aquaphor ointment, unscented Lubriderm, and Burt's Bees Res-Q ointment. Of all 3, the Aquaphor is winning out, but stuff tends to stick to it like dog hair and dirt. Oh well, it's temporary.
And here it is... This pic was taken the day after, so I'm expecting it to lighten slightly after it heals. A lot of people ask when I'm getting it colored in. For the time being, this is how I want it. Perhaps when I get bored, I'll get the shading and coloring done. Maybe some water in the background later. Who knows?
And now to the symbolism of the koi.
Courtesy of About-Koi-Fish.com:
"The Koi is also able to fight the current of the water and swim upstream. This can be interpreted in two ways:
1) Being a non-conformist – Koi swimming upstream can be interpreted as showing the philosophy of non-conformism because of the fact that the Koi does not “go with the flow”. This can mean a person is very independent minded and does not do things the way they are expected of him or her. Swimming upstream can mean that a person is not easily influenced by others and does what he or she wants.2) Strength in time of adversity – Koi fish also symbolizes persistence and the willingness to go on even though you are being swept away. It also symbolizes surpassing expectations. The Koi fish swimming upriver can show that a person has overcome various obstacles and not only does he or she keep standing, but he or she has come out victorious."