I use affiliate links on some of my blog posts. This means that I could make a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Read my full disclosure here.
When I became pregnant I couldn’t have imagined of all the things I swore I’d never do coming true. Yet one by one, it seemed I had little to no choice. Things like extra prenatal testing, amniocentesis, considering IVF, adoption and so many other things (you can read about those tough choices here). And recently I did yet another. I got a tattoo. A permanent mark on my body that I had once thought I would never be willing to get. But it’s another way to heal during my grief.
What is the significance?
When Christian was born I thought he had the cutest squishy face. I started calling him my squishy and that evolved into the nickname Squish. Every night before I would leave his bedside I’d say “Goodnight Squish. Sleep sweet”. Even now when I talk to his picture I call him Squish. I love remembering the squishy baby face and the preciousness of his soft newborn skin.
Why did I get it?
I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo but I had never truly meant to get one. The Hubs, on the other hand, had been bugging for years to get one. After he found out I was pregnant, he started coming up with ideas for tattoos to honor his unborn child.
Once Christian was born, the Hubs made an appointment to get Christian’s footprints tattooed on his left side. He wanted them right on the spot on his ribs where Christian would kick in-utero while I was snuggled up to his side at night. So just nine days after Christian died, the Hubs put his sweet little footprints on his ribs.
After his was finished, he wanted me to get one but I wasn’t so convinced. As the weeks went on I realized that getting a tattoo for Christian would be the only reason I’d even consider marking my body permanently. I looked at ideas and thought I’d found one, a cute little patchwork teddy bear. But it just didn’t feel quite right. And I kept waffling on it.
When I figured it out
Quite by accident one day, I figured it out. I was training for my 10k and thinking about my precious boy. While I was running, I looked down at the inside of my left wrist. I could see in my mind’s eye a tattoo that simply said Squish. And finally I knew where to put it and what it should be.
I was nervous. I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to mark my body permanently. And I was especially apprehensive about the pain. I have a fairly low pain tolerance, as well as a fear of pain. But after pregnancy and a c-section, I figured I could handle it. Not having Christian in my arms, I need tangible mementos of him. And every time I imagined his nickname scripted across the inside of my wrist, I knew it was time.
I enlisted the help and encouragement of two friends who have already had ink done. They sat and joked with me and were understanding of why I was doing it. I finally did it. For my son. And for me. So that I have a constant reminder of my treasured baby boy.
Why tattoos are the perfect memoriam of the child you lost
The truth of the matter is that losing a child leaves a gaping hole in your life, your heart, and your arms. You can never have enough things that remind you of that precious little one. A tattoo where you can see it every day may be another great reminder of your child’s presence in your life.
You have the ability to design and choose anything that you associate with your baby. I designed my tattoo on Picmonkey where I do all my graphics. But you can always hand draw or take in an inspiration photo or picture for the tattoo artist to work with. The most important thing is that you find something that you love and will help you remember. Put it somewhere that you will see it and look at with fondness. I rub and kiss my tattoo in moments when I need the comfort. It’s soothing to have it there whenever I need.
Some ideas for a tattoo memento:
- a quote like – “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.”
- a Bible verse – I am with you always. Matthew 28:20
- a saying
- song lyrics – You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
- a symbol of motherhood – Celtic symbol, infinity symbol
- a character associated with your child – like Pooh bear or Stitch
- baby footprints
- Name and birthdate
Am I happy?
Yes. Two weeks later and I think it was the right choice. I love knowing his name is where I can see it whenever I want. It is a wonderful memento of a son who is no longer with me. I desperately seek reminders of him wherever I turn. He is the number one reason I do anything. And why I have finally done something I had never planned on.