May 19, 2012

How Breathing Helped Me Through My First Tat

Until two years ago, I would have never considered getting a tattoo.  Tattoos were not popular during the late seventies when I was a teenager, at least not among the people I hung out with, so I never even thought about getting one until about two years ago when I decided that, when I turned 50, I would get a tattoo and it would include all four of my sons' names.  I started planning it.

Last year when a tattoo studio opened up nearby I started checking out the owner, Dave, and his place of business, Apocalyptic Tattoo Studio.  I started telling people about my decision to get a tattoo when I turned 50 and asked everyone that I spoke to if they knew of or had heard of the new tattooer, Dave.  During the past year, I spoke to quite a few people and I heard nothing but positive things about him so I decided that he would be the one.  I started creating it.

I finally decided what my tattoo was going to be and where I wanted it to be and I went over to Dave's to meet the man who would be tattooing my body and to talk with him about what I wanted and where I wanted it.  I was a little nervous but my birthday was a couple of weeks away and I really wanted this to go as planned.  I met Dave liked him right away.  I told him what I wanted and asked him if I could come in a few days before my birthday to take a peak at the draft of what was going to be my first tattoo (I was so excited).  He started designing it.

A week and a half later, I went over to Apocalyptic Tattoo Studio to see what Dave had designed for me.  It was beautiful!  I was very happy with how it turned out so I left and we confirmed my appointment for Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 10 am (one day after my birthday because I worked all day on my birthday).

I woke up Saturday feeling great and looking forward to getting my new tattoo.  I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be but I was still nervous so when I sat in the chair and he started prepping, I decided that I would try the breathing lessons I learned in Lamaze class thirty-three years ago when I was pregnant with my first son.  Dave started carving and I started breathing.  What I thought would be continuous pokes with a needle turned out to feel more like my skin was being sliced with a cat's claw but the breathing really helped to relax me.  I continued breathing until Dave was done and, after all the planning, creating and designing, it took about one hour and Dave had carved a masterpiece on my right shoulder blade.

It is awesome and it has all four of my sons' names on it!  I love it and want to share it with the world!  So I took a picture of it and posted it on FB and I wrote this blog for everyone to see :)

They say that tattoos are addicting, I believe them.  I can't say that I won't have another one done but if I decide to get another one and Dave is still around, you can bet he will be the one doing it. I recommend practiced breathing techniques for anyone who is getting their first tattoo.  It helped me and it may help you too.


  1. I haven’t gotten my first tattoo yet. I know what I want; I’m just making myself wait to reach a certain goal before I’ll allow myself to get it. Sort a self-reward thing. Anyways, your tattoo is beautiful and thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. I know how you goal was turning 50. Please come back and share when you get your first, I would love to see it. Take care.

  3. It looks beautiful. Haven't talked myself into one yet - mostly because I can't think of what I'd want.

  4. I don't think you have to talk yourself into one, I think once you decide to get one it will all fall into place. Good luck to you. Please come back and post a picture of what you decide one, if you decide on one :)