Monday, November 05, 2012

Pierced.

This past Saturday, we took Baby Doll to get her ears pierced.

There are lots of reasons to do it, and lots of reasons people are against it.  To those folks I say it's good I'm not your kid's parent, I guess.  I can tell you that my ears were pierced when I was about this age and I've been thankful for it SO many times in my adult life!  Never once did I think to myself, "Oh, my mother mutilated my infant body!" or "How dare she physically hurt me when I was a poor, defenseless baby!"  

No.  Rather, I am glad.  Glad she did it before I was able to mess with the piercings so they had less chance of becoming infected before they healed.  Glad she did it before I was able to form psychological aversions to pain that might cause me to flinch and end up with uneven holes.  Glad she did it so long ago that there is no chance of my piercings ever closing up.  

Maybe it's because I'm Mexican, and most of the other girls I knew growing up who were also Mexican had their ears pierced too.  Is it a cultural thing?  I'm not sure.  I do know that I used to think it was so odd when I'd read in books about girls being forced to wait until they were thirteen to get their ears pierced, like it was some adult rite of passage like wearing makeup or getting your period.  For me, having pierced ears was never a big deal.

So, it makes sense in my mind to do the same for my daughter as was done for me.  While she can grab at things, it's usually things she can see.  She's not able to say "Hey, I have these things in my ears.  Let me pull them out!" at this stage.  She's less likely to touch them now than she would be when she got older, and therefore less likely to get them infected as long as I care for them properly.  She'll always have the option of wearing earrings.  If she decides she doesn't want to wear them, well, then she can not wear them.  Easy as that!  And, if she changes her mind later, well, odds are good the piercing will still be open because it has existed for so long as opposed to someone who had only had it done a few years prior.


I'll tell ya, this kid did great.  Honestly the hardest part was getting her to sit still enough so the lady (an older lady who you could tell had done this MANY times) was able to mark her earlobes evenly.  That took a lot of tries and a LOT of fussing because Baby Doll did NOT like being held still.  After that, she fussed a little after the first ear was done, and then cried for about 15-20 seconds when the second was done.  That's it.  I swear she cried longer and harder for vaccinations, and those had made me dread this a little for nothing.  As you can see here, she was all sunshine and smiles right after it was done.

Afterwards we decided to walk around the mall and wandered into Gymboree.  One of the salesgirls started chatting us up and asked how long ago we had the baby's ears pierced.  I laughed and said, "Oh, I don't know, about fifteen minutes ago?"  She couldn't believe it!

"But she's so happy!" she exclaimed before going to tell her coworker.  The other girl immediately came over to see.  "I don't believe it!  She just got them done?  You can't even tell!  I got mine done a few months ago and I almost passed out!"

"That's part of the reason why you do it when they're babies," I told her.  She then told me she wished her mom had done her ears when she was a baby.

And there's the final argument.  Once you get older, you learn to anticipate and dread pain, then linger over it after it happens.  Babies haven't developed that instinct yet so I believe the whole process is less traumatic for them.  I'm not saying that I don't think babies feel pain because obviously they do.  I'm just saying that sometimes the worry and the dread beforehand are worse than the actual pain.  That is what babies lack.


I think her new bling looks ADORABLE.  She hasn't messed with them at all so far which is good.

Originally I was dead set on having a pediatrician pierce them.  No grubby mall kiosks with teenage employees for my baby!  However, my doctor didn't do it, and the only other one I found in my area who would do it charged $55 and they weren't even using gold earrings!  I have metal allergies, and so far this girl has shown a tendency toward sensitive skin.  No way I was using anything less than 14kt gold in her ears.  I remember how bad it felt when I had my navel pierced with "non allergenic" surgical steel.  That was awful!!! Once I switched the jewelry to gold, the piercing healed within a few weeks.

I have to say, Claire's at the mall has a decent set up.  The earring pierces the ear and comes preloaded in it's own little cartridge that is individually boxed.  That cartridge is loaded into the gun, so the gun never touches the baby's ear.  We paid the same there as we would have at the pediatrician's office but only because I picked the most expensive pair of earrings they had.  Girlfriend needed a little sparkle!  The price also included a big bottle of the ear care solution to clean them.  They don't let any of the young employees do the piercing.  The manager, who was slightly older than me I think, did it.  She was very careful and very particular about making sure those earrings were going to be even, which I appreciated.  Overall, I'd say it was a good experience.  If I had to do it over again, I'd definitely do it the same way.

And no, Claire's didn't pay me to say that.  :)

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6 Comments:

Blogger Katy said...

She looks adorable! I got mine at 8, and the only argument I'd have for that is that my parents used it as a bribe FOREVER to get good behavior from me.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I wanted to pierce Peanut's but Jon talked me into waiting until she's old enough to do it as a mommy/daughter activity. Which I am thankful for as well ;)

12:34 PM  
Blogger Dorie said...

Adorable!! I did my daughter's when she was a baby too:) never a regret!

8:11 PM  
OpenID angietune said...

Sara,

Was searching for my GF's blog and came across yours. Loved your own story of piercing your dd's ears.

This was a perfect age to pierce her ears! You were a smart mommy for doing it now and following mommy intuition earlier is best when mommy can care for them. Babies and little girls with little pierced ears celebrates their femininity and femaleness.

Our ped encouraged me doing it early when mommy could care for them. She confirmed your mommy intuition that earlier was better. She said, it was less traumatic since the ear lobes were so soft and thin, they barely felt the earring pierce the ear. She gave me some tips for moms having their infant dd's ears pierced.

If any moms are thinking about it, or want some more research to help make a decision, write me an e-mail.

Angie

Angietune@hotmail.com

6:23 AM  
Blogger Doreen Vasquez said...

I had my ears pierced before I was a year old. And I pierced my daughters ears before she was a year old (I believe I did it right after her 4 month shots).
I am Spanish/Mexican so as you stated it may be a cultural thing, but I never thought twice about it.
I agree it's better to do it when they are young and can't anticipate or remember the pian.
In actuality, although I'm sure it hurts, I think babies are more freaked out about the sound the "gun" makes than the actual piercing!
Oha nd I got my daughter's done by Claire's as well! LOL!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Mark, Shannon,Trey, Boston, & Lola said...

Soooo Cute!!! I can't wait to do Lola's--she had her shots 3 days ago and my doc said to wait 2 weeks from that so I am hoping to go right before Thanksgiving lol!!!

9:22 PM  

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