Thursday, July 28, 2016

Inked : Ocean Made Me Do It

I was able to cross-out a bucketlist today : getting a tattoo.  


Part of my life goals listed in Things To Do Before I  Die, getting a tattoo is one of them. I never thought that I'm gonna make it this soon. I gave birth to my firstborn five weeks ago and I thought my tolerance for  pain was quite high. So, in accordance to my previous post My Seven Travel Tattoo Goals, I'm getting two of them done. 

Getting a tattoo is not a simple decision, I will be inked for life (but I can get it removed by laser if I want to, thank you technology!) and the tattoo design must be of something else (valuable to you not just for the sake of getting one).  My three brothers have tattoos; Lenbert with a tattoo on his wrist, Junex at his chest  and our youngest Jorge with the whole left arm (sleeve tattoo) adorned with colorful designs. They were men and damn, I never think I could ever make it without screaming with pain. But I just did --- without the screaming.  

Needlepoint Tattoo Studio

I made prior arrangements to realize this goal.  I've search for a legit tattoo studio, asked for a price and booked for an appointment.  I found a lady tattoo artist, Tatsyo on Facebook. I thought I could get her to do the job since she's a woman and could somehow make me at ease for my first tattoo experience.  She's super friendly and her works are majestic. Then there's Needlepoint Cebu Tattoo.  I was having a  5-day training at a nearby hotel and I thought it was the right time to get one at Needlepoint which was located just beside  the hotel I'm staying. I made an appointment with them.  

The place was not that big, a walking distance from Harolds Hotel in Gorordo Ave. Mards greeted me when I came in and told me that he was about to call another artist who could do mine since he was having a session with a foreigner dude at that time. Minutes later, three guys came in, had a few chat as they  prepared their thing. 

Ocean's actual heart rate at  26weeks pregnancy

Philip made the pattern out from an ultrasound photo I've sent them for my first design : Ocean's actual heartbeat at 26weeks pregnancy when he was diagnosed with Fetal  Premature Atrial Contraction, (which was first detected during my monthly pre-natal checkup which then evolved into Fetal Tachycardia on my 33weeks pregnancy).  Ocean is a miracle baby. I had a difficult pregnancy. I had to endure a lot of tests, monitoring, medications and a lot of praying. Ocean came out two weeks earlier and he was completely born with healthy heart. To commemorate that challenging moment in my life, I chose to have his actual heartbeat inked with  me forever. 

Airplane represents me -- a planespotter and free-spirited soul

So the piercing of the needle with ink began. Philip told me to hold still, stay relaxed and I'd tell him to stop if I could no longer bear the pain. How can I stay relax? This is my first time getting a tattoo, no one ever told me what it really felt like except that it was painful. The actual  feeling? It was like being electrocuted a  little bit, like hot itchy thorn digging your skin. I entertained myself by watching the TV in front of me. Holding my breath with my palms sweating, I thought, "This is much better than having an 8-hour labor  at the hospital, so bring it on!"

An ocean wave represents Ocean, my firstborn son

By the time the first tattoo was done, of course, it was a relief. I admired the finished product with a proud heart : Oh yeah, this heartbeat representation will last until the day I die. If Alzheimer disease will hit me later on, I will ask Ocean why I end up getting a tattoo like this. 

The next design was an airplane which represents me, free-spirited  and a planespotter by heart. A minimal design but the whole thing was shaded, so again, I have to endure another set of pain. He first did the outline and worked all the way up to the shading. It was more painful than the first, really. I had to make him stop to catch my breath. 

The last design was an ocean wave which clearly represents Ocean, my firstborn son. People have been asking me we named him Ocean. Well, aside from the fact that I love the beach, his dad and I used to travel and I felt that I was part of the Ocean before I was Sky :)

Kudos to Philip for a job well done

I was briefed on how to take care of my inked skin as Philip wrapped my last tattoo with a stretch film. Aftercare is important to avoid getting infection, after all, getting a tattoo is like having abrasions.  I was told that I have to (1)  remove the film after 1 to 2 hours. (2) wash it thoroughly with mild soap, pat dry with a clean towel (3) apply a thin layer of skin protectant (4) repeat  steps 2 and 3 every four hours for a week (5) scabbing is expected in the next couple of days, I should not pick or scratch it (6) no swimming for two weeks (7) avoid intense heat. The key here is to keep the tattooed  part clean. If scabbing occurs, I must fight the urge to pick or scratch since it's gonna be itchy. I have to wash hands before touching it.

I have to admit that after my session, I was thinking of having another one --- in the future. Now I understand why some people told me getting a tattoo is addicting. That once inked, they have the urge to get another one. For now, I'm going to enjoy my little triumph getting over with pain. I consider this, my friends, as an achievement.  

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