On Thursday, I bought myself something pretty.
I had been wanting a new tattoo for a pretty long time, and made this appointment months ago. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d actually be able to get it. I thought for sure I’d be pregnant by the time the appointment rolled around. Ha!
So, why the Koi? Well, I knew I wanted something to signify the struggle I’d be through for the last few years. With my short (Google) research, I figured that Koi were a representation of fighting through a tough time, and having the strength and power to achieve your goals. I knew I wanted it paired with a lotus. The lotus flower starts it’s life in the mud below the surface of the water, growing higher and higher towards the light. Like a lot of things in tattoo culture, I think it can have many meanings. But for me it was an additional sign of perseverance, and overcoming obstacles.
The original idea of what I wanted grew and evolved as I chatted about it with the tattoo artist. I found the lovely Christophe Margot through his website. I was shocked to find a website in English, and someone who specialized in the style I was looking for so close by. It seemed like fate! I contacted him, and we set up an appointment to chat. After our initial meeting, I made my appointment for what seemed like ages away. This guy is in high demand! I arrived for my appointment last week pretty nervous. This would be my biggest tattoo by far, and I knew the next few hours would not be easy.
I really can’t sing his praises enough. He is just a wonderful person, and as you can see a very skilled artist. He has a great passion for what he does. He is as gentle as he can be, and always asking if you are doing ok. He loves music, and I was treated to everything from Johnny Cash to Kevin Costner! He charmingly asked me to clarify a few English phrases from the songs we were listening to. I’ll admit, I always wasn’t in the right mind to answer, as it sometimes took all I had to try and block the pain from my head.
At times the pain was quite bearable. In the beginning, I had the shakes for some reason. I think I had too much nervous energy going through me. My hands were sweating buckets by the time we took our first break. But we pressed on. I never cried out though, or fidgeted too much (I hope!) After about 4 hours, we had to stop. I’m sure tattooing someone for 4 hours can really take a toll on the artist as well. I’ll admit, a part of me (uh…ok, a pretty big part!) was glad we couldn’t finish it all in one day. We set my next appointment for November.
Upon arriving home, I had to lie down for a bit. I had the shakes and was not feeling that great. I figured that I was coming down off of some sort of adrenaline high. When I was feeling better, I Googled, “Adrenaline crash after…” and I didn’t even need to finish typing before “tattoo” was filled in automatically by Google. So, I guess it’s a real thing. It makes sense, all of your energy is focused on trying NOT to feel what is going on, and your body is so tense for so long. I had never experienced this before, as like I said, all of my other tattoos are quite small in compassion. I wanted to stay home and chill, but we had dinner plans at 8pm with friends, and I made it with no problem.
I was instructed to shower that night, and re-cover the tattoo with plastic overnight and the next day if I wanted to. He also told me what cream to use on it for the next week. It was a little sore the first few days, but not bad at all really. Now it’s in that fabulous flaky and itchy stage. It’s really a weird thing to have an actual scaly fish on your body! But honestly, the “recovery” has not been as bad as I thought it would be. I believe this to be another testament to a good tattoo artist.
So, there you have it! I’m pretty proud of myself. It may sound dumb, but my confidence grows with every physical trial I go through. It started out with me getting used to having blood drawn more and more often. Then it was painful fertility procedures, and minor surgeries. And now it’s doing nightly injections. And if I do get pregnant again, it will mean more painful nightly injections of heparin. Getting through this tattoo showed me that I am tougher than I thought I was. Do I still want drugs for medical procedures? Hell yes! For some reason, medical stuff just skeeves me out so much more. But as apprehensive as I am about heparin injections in the future (and hell, giving birth hopefully some day) sitting through 4 hours of tattooing has given me confidence to face these things, perhaps a bit less nervously.