Sunday, August 31, 2008

Show and Tell!

In this world of IF, it is so, so easy to lose your grip on hope. It is a constant daily struggle in which I must be reminded that this too shall pass, and when it does, I will be in a better place and hopefully that place will be lined with more faces at the dinner table. It just so happens that because of the astounding density of my skull, my reminders literally need to be branded on*:

For this week's edition of show and tell, as seen at Mel's fabulous little corner of the blogosphere, I present to you my very first tattoo. I got it this summer, just 1 month after my 30th birthday and 1 month after the loss of our first pregnancy. I had always wanted a tattoo and, in an effort to thwart the patron saint of cliche, I agonized for years over what it would be, desperately searching for something personally relevant and meaningful. As I was recovering from my D&C, it suddenly became very clear to me. In between popping handfuls of ibuprofin and having birthday cake in my pajamas, I sketched this (of course, I've since lost the sketch, but the final product is close enough):


Tree: Tree of life, or even, family tree, which should be self explanatory in this business. Also, a nod to my home state (California hills are often dotted with their trademark Coast Live Oaks, as is the hill behind my in-law's house).

Dochas: (this is in Gaelic script, so it's not easily read). Direct translation: Hope. Mr. S and I are your run-of-the-mill American Heinz 57 when it comes to ancestry, but we do share one country of origin: Ireland. Hence the Gaelic.

6/10/00: A 6, 1, and three 0's are hidden in the branches. This is our wedding anniversary.

Red behind the tree: This is as close to the pomegranate color used in fertility as the artist could come.

Eventually, I would like to add to this (more foliage and color), but for now, I am pleased. And I'm hoping that at times when I need it most, hope will be visible and concrete, lest not easily forgotten.

*sorry for the bra strap. Totally classy, I know. :P


Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

Sorry for writing and deleting a comment - I hit "publish too fast". Here's what I wanted to say:

The design carries so much meaning Shelby! Your tattoo is beautiful!

DH and I talked about getting tattoos for our 10th wedding anniversary. We were caught up with life and work when the time came around. Then we got pregnant and lost the baby, and since then never wanted a celebratory tattoo. Our tattoo motivation completely changed.

Now we're past even our 11th anniversary and both of us are still tattoo-less. One day.....I guess.

JuliaS said...

I like it! I love the meaning and symbolism too.

Thanks for sharing!

Kristin said...

What a beautiful tattoo. I have one in remembrance of my lost babies.

courtney said...

I'm glad your profile is public again. Your blog is honest and entertaining, so I'm just going to welcome myself back here.
I'm getting caught up. Have you and your husband decided about IUI 5? Enjoy labor day!
(and, I'm a teacher also in CA. Last year we had a new Ass. principal who was held up by her finger prints because somebody over there spelled her name wrong. Don't worry about the death star. I actually have a friend who shut down the long be*ach airport once because he forgot to take something out of his bag!).

chicklet said...

I think it's great, particularly the symbolism. I'm working on getting another but like you, I don't want to get it unless it has meaning behind it. Still thinking...

AnotherDreamer said...

It's beautiful! And the symbolism is great.

I have a couple tattoos (One is the celtic tree of life, I got it after I got married, a symbol of a new life, better days maybe... a rebirth. and I also have bird wings on my shoulders, an escape from those old chains that weighed me down in my past. Again, a new life I guess.)

I plan on getting one to symbolize my miscarriage someday, too.
I think that tattoos are a good way to reflect and remember.

Lori said...

What a beautiful and meaningful design. Do you have people ask about it? If so, do you tell them all the details?

So nice to "meet" you in Mel's class. Wanna be friends on the playground, too?

Trace said...

Very nice!!

Shelby said...

Thanks all!

I had HUGE buyer's remorse for a few days after and it kept me up all night with thinking, "Oh my God, what have I done? This will be here for life." But I'm over that.

To be honest, I've been somewhat of a hermit this summer and when I do see people, it's often covered up. So, most don't ask and the few who do see it don't need to ask the symbolism (family) as they already know.

luna said...

love the tat, especially the symbolism behind it!

I Believe in Miracles said...

Nice tattoo!! Love it - symbolism and all.