Friday, July 18, 2008


***ETA - I have designed Oceana's on my own. Joshua's I intend to design on my own, which is why I'm being careful about it. The idea I came up with this morning is sounding better and better to me. Special, needs to be explained to someone who doesn't know us - but understandable to people who have followed our story. And I found a new 'location' for them - across my shoulder blades - from left and right. I wouldn't get an epidural, unless it was an emergency, so that's not in my plans. But I'm leaning toward the shoulders now. It's close enough to my neck that I wouldn't mind pulling the collar of my shirt to show someone. But it's still easily coverable. Having the tats along my spine running top to bottom is kool, but I wouldn't feel comfortable showing the off to many people. All that to say - it's in the plans. But when, I don't know.***

It's been heavy on my mind lately, to follow through with the tattoos I want for Oceana and Joshua. It has always been my plan (since I was 16 or 17) to tattoo a star for each of my children on my back. My plan was to have them along the base of my back.

Over time I've been worried that I'd "run out of a room", and have to start another row. I think I can take the chance that I won't "run out of room" because I don't think a dozen kids are in the cards for me. Yeesh.

I've known what I wanted for Oceana since I was pregnant with her. It was easy for me. I knew it, I liked it. No problem.

But Joshua's different. I want his to be particularly special and to convey his story through the star. But I can't decide. And since I don't want a start the size of North Dakota, it's gotta to be pretty simple. I want to keep the star under 2"x2". I have had a few ideas, but nothing that makes me go "Wow! I love that!". Oceana's made me do that. So here's my dilemna, do I wrack by brain for months and months, or do I go for one of the ones that I love, but am not particularly wowed by? I know most of you will say to wait, but there's this nervousness in me that wants to have the tattoo now! I think perhaps it's because I wanted a tattoo after each baby, but when I was getting into "I'll get Oceana's done now." I was pregnant with Joshua (No tattoos while pregnant, as far as I know). That's not in our plans, but because it's happened before, I'm kind of apprehensive.

And then last night I had a dream that Matt went out with his friends and came home with a Mr & Mrs Sams tattoo - except there was something about an F. The cross to the (cursive) F was several inches away from the F - on top of the & symbol. Yeesh. Now I'm terrified that something will go wrong! I know, it's only a dream, and an illogical one at that. But still!

Matt also mentioned that if I put the stars at the base of my back there's a potential for them to stretch out if I was pregnant again. So here's my question - anyone know about tattoos on your back that stretched? So far I don't have stretches there - just out on the sides. Is it horrible?

The other possibilities are along the right side of my spine, running own my back. But then I'm thinking I won't stop to show people the tattoo since its not in a "respectable" location. If it was on my lower back I'd probably show most people - but not if they're up around my shoulder blades! The other option is along my right forearm. But then, someone mentioned that since we're involved in missionary work, what if we went to a country that doesn't find them acceptable - then I'm stuck wearing long sleeves! The legs are a possibility, but I'm not all that keen.


  1. I have a tattoo on my lower back. It didn't stretch during pregnancy.
    I also just got my sons newborn footprints up between my shoulder blades. If I wear a tank top they are uncovered and very visible. So I don't feel like I have expose myself to show them off.
    I say wait for the right now for Joshua. You can always get Oce's now and then get his later when you find the right one.

  2. I don't know what your birth beliefs are, but when I was going to get a tattoo on my back my coworker, who was also an EMT, told me if I had a tattoo on my back, and i wanted an epidural they wouldn't do it because the ink could leak into your spine and kill you. So, I probably wouldn't do a tatto on my lower back. But stars around your wrist might be cool. You could always buy a thick bracelet to cover them if you are in an area that doesn't find tattoo's acceptable.

  3. You have to LOVE what you get cuz there ain't no going back!! I would get Oce's done now, and then, when the moment hits, you can get Joshua's. It's not like you won't ever get it. You just have to get the right one. As far as location, I would put it somewhere that you wouldn't mind showing off, but also somewhere that could easily be covered (saw for a job interview, missionary work, etc). I don't have any tats, but I do know my back didn't stretch when I was preggo.

  4. I don't have any stretch marks on my back, so I think you are pretty safe with that plan. I also think if you stay away from your middle spine where they stick you for the epidural that you shouldn't have any problems with it causing a problem in that dept.

    I have two tattoos and love them. My first one is a red rose that I got after my dad had passed away in rememberence of him. I think that is a wonderful way to remember someone and to dedicate to your babies. What a great idea!

  5. My vote: Go with the lower's cool, if I were brave, that's where I would do it AND I have friends that have them there and they did NOT stretch.... Second, I would wait for Joshua...I know, you don't wanna hear also don't want to regret it, when the wow comes to you....that's just my feeling...from a total stranger..completely in awe of you! Good luck, can't wait to hear what you decide...

  6. I too have a tattoo across my lower back and it did not stretch with pregnancy. As for an epidural, I had one with my last birth (long story, home birth transfer :( ) and I've seen many moms with tattoos on their lower back be able to get epidurals. Best of luck with your decision and tattoo :)

  7. Can you do a Star anklet in a sense? Like put the stars around your ankle? It will be seen enough...but if you go overseas you can "cover it up"....ya know? Maybe make it like a "bracelet" all around your ankle...and if for some reason you don't have 12 can always "fill in" the spaces with yours and Matt's "star" could also put the children's initials in each star....and that should fit in something like this....just a thought:)

  8. If you haven't stretched on your back so far, you should be fine. I have a couple of friend who have made it through pregnancies (with large tattoos) and theirs didn't stretch (now mine on my lower abdomen, that's another story)!

    Anyway, have you considered designing your own tattoo? What about stars with each of your kids favorite colors? Or pink for your girls and blue for your boys? For Joshua, have you considered just a simple star with a halo over it? It could be connected with Oceanna's and you could do a chain of stars for each. Or maybe just a star with wings? If you find a professional shop they will usually draw something up for you.

  9. It sounds like the lower back might be your best bet.

    If you are in fact worried about stretching then the closer to the center of your lower back the better off you'll be.

    I do however have a tattoo on my wrist and got it there specifically because it is something i want to look at every day.

    Getting tattoos that represent your children might be something that you yourself want to be able to look at, in which case wrist or lower arm might be nice (although i do understand that it might be difficult with your work, so that would be your call.)

    Remember that if you do get a tattoo on your back or shoulders, (i have both) that you will rarely if ever actually get to look at it yourself. haha

    When it comes to the design of each individual tattoo, just make sure its something you love, seeing as you'll have it for the rest of your life. I understand the temptation of wanting to get a tattoo right away but if youre not sure, wait till you are.

    And my two cents on the design element, tattoos no matter how well they are done start to bleed over time. (as in, the edges if lines become less sharp and widen a little while the colors and blacks become slightly desaturated) Small and tattoos with very fine details suffer most from this and therefore since you are planning on keeping each tattoo to less than two inches, in my recommendation, keep them simple. You will like them better in the long run because they will age better. Also many reputable tattoo artists will not do very fine detail pieces on such a small scale for this very reason.

    I hope that maybe this will help you finalize designs.

    You will love them!

  10. I just had a baby 21 months ago and because of me being only 21 when I had him they asked me if I had a lower back Tattoo. I was told that they will still give u and epidural if u have a tattoo there as long as its not like 2 years old or younger.

  11. What about a shooting star for J?

  12. I have a tattoo across my lower back and if was going to stretch on anyone it would have been me... I got huge all 3 times and have Stretchmarks galore... Yet the tattoo is still perfect. Good luck in your decision. I know that I want to get a tattoo for my boys but keep waiting for the 'perfect' one too. hope you come to the right decision for you : )

  13. I've got 2 tattoo's and neither stretched. One is in the center of my low back (and I had an epidural no problem). The other is on my the inside of my left hip. I figured I had no chance of that stretching when I was pregnant, but it did just fine. So, I think that if you don't normally stretch somewhere, you should be fine.

    Wait until you know exactly what you want for Joshua!

  14. That's crazy that you want stars for your kiddo's, that's what I've always wanted too! Every since I was 15, 16, 17 ish and started planning out and concocting my first's started, but not finished yet...It's a fairy on my upper right shoulder, she will be dropping stardust down my back with the kids names in stars, including one for my m/c, and then I will have another fairy at the small of my back and she will be holding *something* catching the stardust (I'm thinking a flower shaped like a bowl kinda?) *scratches head* You get the idea though. The top fairy is mainly blues and oranges, and the bottom one will be mainly greens with four leaf clovers incorporated b/c my b-day is on St. Patty's day, and the stardust will be kind of a rainbow, but not really with primary colors...just pinks, oranges, maybe reds, blues, greens, and purples. I think designing one yourself for J is a great idea! I agree about the traffic, and I even feel bad about it. I try to check back often, and I really do still care, I'm just so busy, that it rarely happens as often as I would like. Sorry so long! Good luck with the tat's, oh and my anestesiologist said that it depends on the tattoo, if there are any spaces or anything, etc, etc, but that having one on your back will not stop you from getting an epi necessarily, which I know you're not that worried about anyways. O.k. best wishes and blessings for the next week! ~K~

  15. I got my second tattoo after my daughter was born. I got it on the right side of my chest (above my boobs) and it hurt. My first tattoo (a tiny little heart)is on my ankle and here's the point of my comment...The ankle hurt ten million times worse than my chest. That's right the 45 minute long session on my chest didnt hurt nearly as much as the 5 minutes of hell I endured with my ankle. SERIOULY! So if your into that kind of annoying, wanting to rip your hair, mouth watering (in a bad way) pain than by all means but I just thought somebody should tel you.