It's true. At the ripe old age of 31, I got a tattoo. In Thailand.
No, I wasn't drunk. It wasn't a spur of the moment decision, either.
I've been wanting this specific tattoo for over 2 years now. A tattoo of 6 small birds to represent the 6 babies we lost.
It's taken me 2 years to convince E. He was FIRMLY against it for a very long time. Up until our Thailand trip, actually. One day, during the trip, we were laying on the beach and he actually asked me more detailed questions of why I wanted it. I told him I wanted something physically apart of me to remember them by. Something I can touch, feel, and hold close. He suggested planting a tree, but I told him it would kill me if the tree died or we moved. (Plus, I really wanted something specific for EACH baby. Not something collective for them together.) Then, he suggested a necklace, or something similar, that I would wear like a wedding ring. But, I wear a necklace with a charm on it for my four living children almost every day (I have two different ones that represent each of them, then I just got a new necklace with their picture on it from www.jewelrykeepsakes.com. Blog post coming on that coming up.)
E saw my points, (I guess. either that, or he was tired of me asking constantly) and said he could see why I wanted one. If I really wanted it, he'd go with me, even, to get it done.
Rather than wait until we got home (and give him a chance to change his mind), I researched tattoo parlors in Bangkok. We were spending one more evening there on our way home, after our island trip. I found one that got wonderful reviews and headed down there on Monday after we checked into our hotel.
The man who helped us spoke WONDERFUL English, and printed out a page with birds on it to let us chose each one we wanted. E even helped pick out 2 of them! After picking them out, he transferred them onto my wrist, taking lots of time placing them, replacing them, getting the arrangement just right. It was during this placement that I got quite misty eyed, grieving for my tiny babies. (This was/is the closest thing I'd ever have to a memorial for them.)
Its been a looooong time since my last tattoo (um, 14 years ago?!?) and I sort of forgot how it felt. Some of them hurt worse than others. The one under my pinky finger...that one definitely hurt he worst. I may have been practicing some of my labor breathing techniques and asking E to distract me with pictures from our trip. Thankfully, it only took about 20 minutes.
immediately after it was finished
Tattoo wrapped up safe and sound during a foot massage on the street.
On the plane ride home
I'm looking forward to when its healed and I can rub my finger across all of them.
In case you are wondering "why birds"? 1. They are just cute and 2. I love the references in the bible about how God takes care of even the birds, so how much more does he love us, his children. These two are my favorite:
26"Look at the birds. They don't plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they?
6"Aren't five sparrows sold for two cents? God doesn't forget any of them. 7Even every hair on your head has been counted. Don't be afraid! You are worth more than many sparrows.