My First Bee Tattoo for Bertie & Aftercare

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Recently I had my first tattoo. We all have a tattoo in us don't we? The idea of " If I was to get one what would I get?". For years I haven't had much desire for one, I've always liked them, when they are good, but heard lots of disasters when they went wrong. Like the time my friends ex-boyfriend got one done on his ankle on holiday, then preceded to go into the sea immediately, he has had a blue blur on his ankle for the last 15 odd years! And when the same friends brother had one done in a backstreet joint in Thailand, passed out then woke up with a ginormous dragon, covering his entire back and arm! Oops.

So why did I get mine? I haven't spoken about this much yet on my blog, but if you follow me on instagram, you will know that 6 months ago we lost our second baby son Bertie. He was stillborn at 8.5 months, he was perfectly healthy but had the cord wrapped around his neck three times and whats known as a true knot ( a tight knot which is very rare). His name was going to be Bertie Bee, so the bee has become hugely significant to us.

Immediately after coming to when I had to deliver Bertie via c-section under general anaesthetic. I became obsessed with having a bee tattoo, on my left wrist, where my cannula was. Potentially for obviously reasons, but it was overwhelming.

I got quite ill after the operation and went back in several times with four wound infections. On one of those occasions, I met the midwife who was there waiting when I had come to. I don’t know her name, but I noticed, she had a bee tattoo on her left wrist. I must have seen it in my subconscious.

When looking for a tattoo, I asked my friends who already had one, three of them who are totally unrelated all suggested the same name, Rebecca Vincent. She does beautiful botanical illustrations, which are similar to some of mine, I knew she was perfect. But she does have a very long waiting list, so I was amazed when I emailed her that she replied immediately and we set a date.

I was so busy with work, in fact shooting that day that I didn't  worry too much about it before I got there. But it did sink in that this was going to hurt when I lay down.

BEFORE YOU GO

Before I went, I found an image of a bee I liked, which was quite delicate and detailed. The design was going to go on my wrist, so I printed out four versions in different sizes and placed them on my wrist. Remember you cant go too small with a detailed image as it just won't stay that way, the tattoo lines always bleed out slightly.

Buy some Cocoa Butter, Bio Oil or I would highly recommend Diprobase ( this is my unexpected top tip). Have cling film & surgical tape or a dressing to hand.

WHAT TO BRING

You don't need to bring much with you, but a friend suggested to have a sugary drink or sugar lolly just before you go in, to keep your blood sugar up.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET THERE

Once you have chosen your design and size, the tattoo artist will place a transfer or "fake tattoo" where you want it.

DURING THE TATTOO

So, yes I have been through a lot of pain recently, C-section, infection etc, so I'm not sure this is why, but I genuinely didn't think it hurt, in fact I said " is that it?". Its a mild scratching sensation. Thats it. But do take into account it was a small tattoo with not much colour blocking.

AFTER CARE

Immediately: The tattoo artist will cover it with clingfilm or a dressing depending on the size. Think of it as an open wound.

Next day: You must keep it out of submerged water for around 4 days, this doesn't mean you cant have a bath but don't bathe the tattoo ( remember the story earlier, that is what will happen). Keep it wrapped in clingfilm or dressing and moisturise. New researsch shows scars heal 50% faster if kept moist, not dry. I actually didn't have any cocoa butter as suggested from the artist to use for the first week, so I used my sons Diprobase Ointment which is kind of a sophisticated Vaseline for skin conditions. This worked incredibly as the petroleum protects the skin from any nasties and keeps it nourished.

Day after: I only wore the clingfilm when I went out for the next two days, that was enough for the size of tattoo I have. I kept on applying Diprobase and then Cocoa butter ( I had some now). I was astounded there was no weeping or much soreness.

A week on: (For me) The tattoo isn't sore at all, I keep applying moisture from this point you can apply bio oil. The colour of the ink is very slightly lighter but the detail has remained.

If you have had a tattoo or are thinking of getting one call your local recommended tattoo parlour, I used Rebecca Vincent at Parliament.

Here is the tattoo being illustrated, it only took around 20mins, the experience is a little like going to the hairdresser!

This is that miracle cream I would oh so recommend! ( No I don't work for them) It works so well to protect and nourish your tattoo. See it here, I would recommend this Diprobase Ointment version.

Here is day two where I was wrapping my wrist with clingfilm, after moisturising I used a gauze to wipe the tattoo clean before wrapping with clingfilm.