Tattoos & Childbirth: How Getting a Tattoo & Having a Baby is the Same

Ok, so actually it's not.  At all.  The only thing similar between the two experiences was the fact that I needed a doula for both of them!

With the birth of my daughter, I had two doulas and absolutely needed them both.  I knew birth was going to be difficult and that I would need support.  Women to keep me focused.  Remind me I can DO THIS.  Suggest things to help me relax and give in to the process.  They were fantastic and helped me so very much!

With my tattoo, I just decided to do it.  I'd been thinking about it for a while and one evening decided to go for it.  I called up a friend and voila-  I was on my way!  Before I even had a chance to really wrap my brain around what was happening, I was up on the table feeling the first line... and realizing that it hurt WAY more than I remembered (sort of like childbirth).

Before I knew it, I was looking for distraction.  Then, I was wanting to MOVE.  I began rocking back and forth on the table (luckily I was able to keep my leg still).  Then, I began vocalizing- deep humming noises or singing along with the records they were playing.  At one point, the music ended and I told Jon, my artist, he better have someone flip the record or they were going to have to listen to me sing!

As we were closing in on the homestretch, I remember a feeling of "I don't want to do this anymore!"  I was in tattoo transition!  That was when I really needed a tattoo doula- someone to keep me focused and to remind me that I was almost done.

In the end, I did it.  I got off the table swearing I would never get another tattoo- the exact same way I felt after pushing out my daughter- but, here I am two weeks later, already thinking about my next one.

So, maybe getting a tattoo and having a baby is (sort of) the same- I needed a doula, it hurt way worse than I remembered, I needed to MOVE and make noise, and there's a transition period of sorts.

In the end, it comes down to support.  Birth and tattoos alike, we need to feel supported.  Reminded we are strong.  Reminded the end result is so worth it!  I wouldn't give birth without a doula and I certainly won't get my next tattoo without a doula, either.