Before Lila was born, I never thought I would want to get a tattoo. But not too long after Lila died, I was looking at one of her footprints and the idea popped into my head to get her footprint tattooed on my arm with her name. I never really wavered on this and knew it was something I wanted and needed to do.
My friend, John, recommended the shop that he goes to from time to time and helped me set up the appointment. I trusted his judgement and felt like this was a better option than for me to go into a random shop on the South Side of Pittsburgh. I told the tattoo artist that I wanted Lila's footprint on my forearm with her name in script on it. I sent him a copy of Lila's footprints and told him a few of my ideas.
The appointment was last Friday and when I walked in, he had 5 or 6 designs ready for me to pick from. For some reason I was only picturing one footprint but all of the designs had both of Lila's footprints in them. I had originally thought both would be too big and take up too much of my arm but they all looked really neat. Some had the name above the feet while others had the name over the footprints. The design I picked stuck out to me over the rest and I was excited for it.
I walked into the room and sat down. I think I was expecting a chair like they have in the dentist's office but this was just a plain old normal chair. I asked what to expect from a pain standpoint and he said it feels like being sunburnt. I remember people telling me that the inside of your forearm is more sensitive and would hurt more than normal. When he started though, it really wasn't that bad. It just felt like scraping on my arm. It was really neat to see it go on. He did the outlines of the feet first and then did Lila's name. He shaded in everything at the end. He kept some parts darker and some lighter and I was very impressed with how intricate and detailed the footprints were coming out.
When it was all done, he covered the tattoo with tegaderm which helps the tattoo heal and prevents scabbing. I was beyond impressed with how good the tattoo ended up. I keep staring at it. Jenny said that it was like we stamped my arm with Lila's feet. We both love how it looks and I don't regret it one bit. The picture below shows the tattoo next to Lila's actual footprints and how similar they are.
I keep looking at my arm and feel good knowing that I will have a constant reminder of how perfect Lila was. I also keep thinking how big Lila's feet were for an infant, just another thing that made her so special. Now I know that when I'm having a rough day at work that I can just roll up my sleeve and admire how cute my baby's feet are. - Mike