I've been wanting to write this post since the second I got these tattoos, but I wanted to wait so I could tell you all about the FULL experience-- healing and everything.
The back story...
I've wanted tattoos since I turned 18. I'm not one to just tattoo myself because it's the "cool thing to do". Obviously tattoos are about as permanent as it gets, and I knew since the beginning that if I was going to get a tattoo, it had to be something with meaning. I've seen SO many people with ridiculous tattoos....some regret them now and others will most likely regret them later. Over the years quite a few tattoo ideas have been crossed off the list. I decided to get something that I've wanted for a while now, something that is so simple but means the world to me-- my daughters' names. My love for them will never change, and both tattoos would be something I could be proud of. Nothing means more to me than my kids. The placement was a little trickier to figure out. I wanted to put these tattoos somewhere that they would be seen (why would I want to hide them?!) but I still wanted it to look nice and "girly". I decided to put a name on each wrist.
I had researched tattoo shops for months before I actually decided on what shop I wanted to get my tattoo at. I asked friends (who had tattoos that looked good) where they got their work done at, I read reviews online, etc. Once I narrowed down my search to a few tattoo shops that I liked, I looked at the artists's work. I started calling around and asking about prices. Then I visited a couple shops. Originally I wanted to go to the shop that did my Monroe piercing, but the receptionist was really rude and the guy that did the tattoos didn't seem like he had much experience. I was out of there. After that I visited the shop that I ended up getting my tattoos at, and they asked me what I wanted, where I wanted it, and what font I wanted. I showed them a few photos and the shop assistant told me that they could do it in about an hour. I was nervous but SO excited. (For those that live in or near Chicago, I got my tattoos done at Rising Phoenix Tattoo by Chris.
Here is a photo of my virgin wrists (lol) about a minute before I walked into the tattoo shop. Ignore the mark on my right wrist-- I had a hair band on it all day and totally forgot until right before I went in.
Getting my tattoo...
I walked in and someone else was getting their tattoo finished. She looked like she was in a lot of pain, which really freaked me out. I kept my composure though and waited. The shop assistant massaged out the mark from my hair band (lol) and then he put the stencils on me. He was super nice and reassured me that it doesn't hurt as bad as I think it will, and it will be over quick.
Once the stencils were on I sat down in the actual tattoo chair and told Chris that I'm shaky and I'll try to sit still. He laughed and told me that unless I want a fucked up tattoo I'd have to sit still. He kept cracking jokes and was pretty funny. I could tell he was trying to calm my nerves. He turned on his tattoo gun and my heart dropped into my stomach. I remember saying "shit" and then being embarrassed that I said it. Whoops. I told him to do Nevaeh's name first because she was my first born and in case I couldn't take the pain, she deserved her name on me first. Haha. He did it backwards, starting with the "h". The "h" didn't hurt at all. I stupidly assumed that's how the whole tattoo would feel. I was wrong. When he started getting closer to the middle of my wrist, it started to get pretty painful. I'm assuming there are more nerve endings there so that's why it hurt more. The "N" was also painful because the beginning of it is right over my bone. Ouch.
For some reason my Alexis tattoo was wayyy more painful. I remember him going over the "x" a few times and every time he did it my hand would involuntarily jerk. That was the only time I came close to crying. I held it in though and took it like a champ. ;) If I had to describe what getting my wrists tattooed felt like, I would say that some parts feel like absolutely nothing, and some parts feel like someone is holding a lighter to your skin and burning you. He had to hold both hands down really hard, and now I understand why.
Once he was done I was so in love with the finished product. It was exactly what I wanted. I couldn't imagine loving my tattoos any more than I do. He wiped me off, bandaged me up, and off I went. I was told to keep the bandages on for 2 hours. Here is what my tattoos looked like a couple hours later:
|For both tattoos it cost me $120. I also tipped him, because he did a great job.|
I was given a package with ointment for my tattoos, Rising Phoenix business cards and a bumper sticker, and directions for the after care of my tattoos.
I thought it would be a somewhat painful healing process but it wasn't bad at all. The next morning when I woke up, it felt like someone had scratched my wrists. I've been diligently caring for my new tattoos exactly the way Chris advised me. Overall I had an amazing experience and couldn't have asked for a more friendly, fun atmosphere. Once these babies heal up, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and get the quote that I've been wanting. I don't want to say which quote it is because I don't want anyone (mainly one person) to take my idea. I did these first because they mean the most to me, and also because they were simple and one word each, and I wanted to see how painful it would be. I would hate to have done a quote for my first tattoo and had to stop halfway through because I couldn't take the pain. The guy at the shop made a good point-- I pushed two babies out (one of them naturally with NO pain meds whatsoever), I'm pretty sure getting a tattoo hurts way less. Hahaha.
Sorry this was so long. I wanted to make sure I covered everything. Do you have any tattoos/piercings? Do you want any? Let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to ask any questions if I missed anything. :)