Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, September 12, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: A New Tattoo

I've been mulling over a new tattoo.

I have my snake on my right inner ankle that's been with me for 16 years:

She's so pretty. Love her coloring and belly scales. 
I have a stupid monkey tattoo I got in 2002ish, literally a monkey on my back, which was obliterated and devoured by a big, black, powerful dragon in March of 2006. You can guess all the symbolism there, I bet...and why it's my favorite even though I love my snake. No picture, a little too lower back for public consumption.

And then, nothing. Because the spine-to-hip dragon sated my tattoo desires for more for a couple of years, and then we were in the thick of IVF and tattoos were verboten (too much bloodborne risk), I took a pause and thought, okay, maybe I'm done.

Except.

I had this idea, that originally was going to be the equation of entropy on my left inner wrist, because entropy is the concept that everything always reverts back to chaos...and then I just didn't like the equation enough to make that happen. The equation would be more a representation of Bryce than me and when I've gotten tattoos in the past that weren't powerful for me specifically, it's been a disaster.

So, I thought on the whole entropy thing, and how I can relate it to something more meaningful, and I've settled on this:

A dandelion (which, actually, for a gardener is a pretty great definition of entropy).

I want to put a botanical-illustration-style seeded dandelion head and stem and two leaves on my left shoulder blade, and then have the the blown puffball fluffies spread out and up my neck. I don't want them to turn into birds, as I've seen all over pinterest and image searches. I want 35 clearly delineated seed fluffies, one for each of the embryos we made, with two of them purple (and I'm thinking I am okay with them morphing into two butterflies, since they did transform into something more, briefly), and eight of them another color to denote the ones we sent away to another couple, in hopes that they'd become SOMETHING.

This way it honors ALL of our little potential children, all of those little starts that never finished that we created with such love. They were all our wishes. Even though not one came true for us, I want to commemorate them somehow and I think, since I've decorated my body a bit already, that this would be a beautiful way to do it.

What do you think? Do you have any meaningful body art? Have you seen a dandelion tattoo you like? 

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 

35 comments:

  1. It's so funny...you mentioned your dragon tattoo a while back and I was like blown away because you look prim and proper in your pics and not at all like someone I would ever picture having such a massive tattoo!! Wish it was something you could post, because I would love to see it.
    I have 6 tattoos and they all represent where I was in that time in my life, so even if I have "outgrown" them I wouldn't change them. The most significant ones being the ones I got after my dad died, one of which is a custom piece taken from a more whimsical idea and made dark. I have had other ideas and wishes for more, but the cost can't be justified right now.
    I absolutely love your new idea. I personally haven't seen any dandelion tattoos in real, so I find it original. I think it sounds amazing and hope you have a great artist to do it justice.

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    1. Ha! I am a mystery... If I can figure out a way to put it up without having my behind on display I'll do it. :) Oh, I would love to know what your whimsical-turned-dark tattoo looks like. That would be a hard commemoration for sure, but beautiful. I haven't seen a dandelion tattoo other than in online searches, and it would be mostly hidden when I'm dressed for work so I think it will be awesome. I am on the hunt for an artist! Now I want to know what all 6 of yours are... :)

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  2. That sounds so cool. Tattoos are too permanent for my tastes, but I do (in theory) like the idea of using one to make visible something that is usually invisible, and the grief of infertility and loss qualifies. I like the multiple levels of meaning you describe in your possible tattoo.

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    1. Thank you! I got my first tattoo at 24, and thought on it a long time. I still love it (the snake), but I do know people who got ones they regret (sort of like the monkey) and were either stuck with them or had them removed or covered (expensive and/or painful). I really like the multiple levels of meaning in this one, too. Now to find the artist to do it... I would hate to have it go wrong!

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  3. I can't stand the idea of putting something like ink in my body. Reminds me of those obnoxious cars that are covered in stickers - tacky!! But different strokes for different folks.

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    1. They're not for everyone, that's for sure. Mine are easily hidden with pants/long skirts or not ever really for public consumption (the dragon), but I admire people who have sleeves because I could never ink up so much, but they can be beautiful to look at. I appreciate the different strokes! :)

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  4. Wow, I love the dandelion idea. I have been thinking too of a tattoo to symbolize our IVF journey and all our embryos.

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    1. Thanks! We were out walking and I was talking about the entropy thing, and the dandelion thought came to me and then Bryce and I talked through all the ways it could symbolize our embryos. There are so many beautiful tattoos out there, and it's so lovely when (if you're a person interested in tattoos) you find just the image you wanted. I hope I can make real what I see in my head. :) I hope you find something that speaks to you!

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  5. Your current tats sound amazing as does the possible future one. Go for it.

    I don't have any tats My daughter has been on me to get mother/daughter tats. If I/we do it will be her third.

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    1. Thank you! I think now that there's no reason or restriction not to, and I have a good idea, it's gonna happen sooner than later. Oh, what would you get as a mother/daughter tattoo? I have a friend who got the infinity symbol with her daughter, and another who intwined their initials together like vines.

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  6. I couldn't do it myself, as I know that things I loved 20 years ago aren't necessarily loved now. But it sounds a very meaningful, expressive way to remember.

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    1. Thank you -- I think for me it will be just what I want. I don't at all regret my snake and dragon 16 and 10 years later, but that monkey? SO REGRETTABLE. It's got to be a careful decision. I'll probably research it and sketch it and play with it in my mind before I go to different artists to see what they say, and by then I'll know I'm sure this is what I want. Doesn't hurt to play with the idea before committing for real!

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  7. Well, a green snake is too intriguing. I do not have a body art and I am not sure if I will be ready for it cos I feel it's permanent and what if one day I want to reverse it?

    But If I have to, I will go with some words like love, faith, live life.. you got the drift ;)

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    1. That sounds lovely! I love when words are done in a beautiful font. I feel like it's definitely a commitment, because removal is painful. That's why I covered the monkey with a bigger, more fierce tattoo. Of course, when I got the dragon, the artist said, "You'd better like this one or you're gonna have to get a big black box." HA! :)

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  8. I am covered in body art and all of them mean something very significant to me. From my first tattoo of a Chinese symbol meaning "father" that I got when I was 18 that wasn't the best decision I ever made to my sleeve on my right arm that has a concrete angel and a dream catcher and lots of flowers that I have put LOTS of money and thought into even though it's still not totally done now.

    My old blog before this one was called "Our Wish" and I used a dandelion as the blog's "mascot". For years I talked about getting a dandelion tattoo but the Pinterest craze of the dandelion into the birds kinda killed it for me. But, I have always talked about putting a dandelion in my arm of roses or something like that.

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    1. Oh, your sleeve sounds beautiful! I love an intricate, lots of things woven throughout sleeve. I hate the birds on the ones I saw on Pinterest, but I love the idea of a dandelion. I have never seen one in person, so I feel okay with the fact that they're everywhere online. There's some really odd looking ones online though. I hope mine comes out the way I want it to -- more like a botanical illustration and finely detailed. It's going to hurt... :)

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  9. I have a tiger tattoo on my lower back that most people are surprised to learn about. I've been told I don't seem like the type. But it symbolizes a transition for me. Power and strength to do what most don't think is possible (or wise).

    I've seen a lot more dandelions, particularly the images of the seeds turning into birds. That from loss can come beauty. I get what you mean about uniqueness. I need to think more about this, but there are so many other plants that use wind dispersal (milkweed comes to mind) that have large seeds and, hence, larger tuffs. A beauty within the process of starting over the cycle.

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    1. Oh wow-- the tiger sounds fierce. I bet it's gorgeous. I think it's fun to have a surprise like that where it's not often seen, a little bit of badass hiding under the academic persona. :) I love the idea of dispersal. I think I have settled on two tiny butterflies for the embryos that became pregnancies that became memories of what could have been... Not a fan of birds. But love the dandelion and the cycle piece you mention! Such a lovely thought.

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  10. Personally, I'm not a lover of tattoos and I have specific aversions to ones on the neck and face. That being said, I think when they have been thought out and have as much meaning as the one you described, they have a beauty more than just ink on skin. I do like the dandelion you described and I think it's meaning makes it all the more beautiful. Hopefully you will share once it has been completed. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I have to search for a place that can do what I'm looking for, something custom and specific. There's a lot of tattoo places here and I can ask around, but then when it's done and not angry looking I will definitely share! Man I hate pictures of angry, red, puffy new tattoos. Just wait the two weeks! :) I don't like facial or neck tattoos either. The fluffies on my neck would be the back of it, so that if my hair was down you wouldn't see it. Now I have this image of fluffies all up my neck and jawline... yikes! No thank you. :) I hope it looks the way I imagine it when it's done.

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  11. I LOVE the concept for this tattoo! I've always wanted one, but haven't come up with a design/placement/cash to follow through. I hope you find an amazing ink master to make your vision a reality.

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    1. Thank you! I definitely need an amazing ink master to realize this image in my mind... I've wanted another tattoo for a while and haven't figured out what I wanted for sure until now. It's a nice feeling to come up with something you feel will be meaningful and beautiful.

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  12. I absolutely love the symbolism of the dandelion! What a great way to honour all that you have been through. I love the idea of body art, but it is just too permanent for me. I am always afraid that I will get bored with it and then it will be too much work to change.

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    1. Thank you so much! I think this will make me so super happy. The nice things about tattoos on your back is that you can forget you have them and then they surprise you in the mirror! :) Oh yeah, there's this ginormous dragon on my back! I get the not wanting a permanent image though. It is definitely not something you can easily take back.

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  13. That idea is amazing! I want something for our babies, but obviously that can't happen for a while, so I have some time to get inspired by something. In the meantime I have a ring with their birthstones for their due months.

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    1. Thank you! I have to think on something for when we adopt, too, but that can come later. I love your birthstone month ring. Not the reason for it, but the symbolism. I'm glad you can't get a tattoo right now! :)

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  14. If you and Bryce are up for a trip out to Seattle (beautiful in any case), I do recommend the shop that did my blue daisy. It is an award winning shop and very well-known in the area (Artful Dodger Tattoo): http://adtcseattle.com/contact. I don't talk about the blue daisy a lot...I got it on my shoulder/back because I'm already used to pain in my back, so it wasn't a big deal pain-wise for me (and as you know, I tend to get "fatal hang-nails"--I'm a wuss about these things). It is blue because blue is my favorite color, it is a daisy because of Harold and Maude and that lovely conversation about individuality which concludes with a field of daisies morphing into a field of military headstones. It has been a symbol of individuality, sadness resulting from some of my earlier life choices and their ramifications on my body, joy at the ability to strike out on my own, and love. I have never even remotely regretted getting the tattoo. Your idea sounds beautiful, Jess.

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    1. I think I'll probably find a shop in Rochester, as plane tickets would outprice me, but thanks for the info! Interesting history on your daisy, thanks for sharing. I am excited for this new art.

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  15. It sounds like you have put a lot of thought in this next tattoo, and I hope you find someone who can do it well. It sounds delicate and I like how you can capture each loss with the small fluffies and such.

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    1. I have! I still need to play with placement and sketch it out so that I get the intricacies covered that I want, and then find an artist that I can trust to execute it the way I want...but I'm excited. I definitely want it to be delicate--I've seen ones pictured where the fluffies look not so great. I want pretty, intricate fluffies. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  16. Ooooh, I love the idea of the dandelion and seeds. It sounds lovely and really meaningful as well. Hopefully you can find an artist that will do it justice. I love symbolic tattoos and body art - I always said with my tattoo, I got to choose the form my visible representation of my invisible scars from the infertility and life took and transform them into something beautiful.

    Looking forward to seeing the design!

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    1. Thank you! I found one, she's just not taking new bookings until January. As in I can't even call until January 3rd. But her profile was AMAZING, with super detailed fine line work and botanicals that give me total confidence. So worth the wait? Oh, what's your tattoo? I love the idea of transforming something painful into something beautiful. I hope this turns out the way I want it to!

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  17. Oooh, it sounds perfect for you! And I do love your snake, too.

    I don't have any, but I sometimes fantasize about getting one. Maybe a Tao.

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    1. That sounds perfect! Bryce was just saying that looking at all these online portfolios it ALMOST makes him want to get one. He never would, though. This one is sort of for both of us, but on my body. :) Thanks, I love my snake too. Never regretted it, and it's always funny in the spring when my students haven't seen it because of pants and tights and whatnot, and they forget until they see it again...it cracks me up. I like to pretend I didn't know it was there, either. HA.

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  18. No tattoos. I think I'm kind of beyond the usual demographic. ;) I've always thought, though, that if I ever did get one, it would be a small monarch butterfly on my ankle, for Katie. The dandelion sounds perfect. I do like tattoos when they are well done and not too obtrusive, and they have some kind of meaning, as yours do.

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