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A piercing warning from the future
A public service announcement for young women attached to young bellybuttons
A witch asked:
“I had my navel pierced from 1997-2000. The scars weren’t that bad until I had kids and they got majorly stretched out. They bother me, which is silly because my stretch marks are way worse, but: I’m thinking of getting it repierced. Just with like a flat disk, like a flat gold dot, and really only to hide the scar. I took it out because my husband didn’t like it and because it started to feel juvenile, but maybe 41 is the right age to try again? Or will I totally regret this when I take it out in five years and the scar is worse???? I mean, the funny thing is I also have a huge horrible c-section scar. Maybe I just want ONE part of my stomach to look okay.”
I do not have personal experience with this. I never pierced my bellybutton because I never, ever showed my belly on purpose to anyone when I was of piercin’ age and piercing it now at 40 after two kids is not a journey I’m going to take.
But a lot of women also endure this plight, I found:
“Mine is similar and I’ve been thinking the same thing. I used to love belly shirts back in 1997-1999. I'd wear a child's T ball shirt, giant baggy jeans showing off my fine ass crack.”
“I’m going to re-pierce my nose for the same reason. If I’m going to have hole I might as well stick something in it.”
“Should we also discuss how pregnancy jacks up your belly button? I always had a deep belly button but now mine is a giant crater. I could put a marble in it.”
“Ugh, mine went from an innie to a tiny smiley face outie which is actually a tiny hernia I think. My doc has mentioned it only ONCE after annual gynecologist exams for 11 years after my baby was born. Since it doesn’t hurt or anything, I guess I get to keep it forever. Yay?!”
“My belly button went from being an objectively perfect innie that I was VERY proud of to being a stretched, fugly hole I should stash drugs in.”
“I took my piercing out during my first pregnancy because even with the silicon extender it was itchy and swollen. After two babies my biggest postpartum body change is my bellybutton. It looks like an exploded raisin. So alas, no more ring for me.”
“My belly piercing popped out in a fitting room when I was maybe midway through my first pregnancy. I think it was due to my belly actually popping but I’d also neglected the piercing for years. When it happened, it was less a major ‘Oh my god, my kid-free life is over!’ And more a ‘Eh, guess that’s gone.’”
“Mine was pierced pre-kids. If I had known it would leave a literal hole in my belly button forever I probably wouldn’t have done it. I took it out sometime during pregnancy. Then probably 2 years postpartum I stumbled upon it and wondered it if would still fit. It did. And there it has stayed since. I no longer view it as a sexy thing but my belly just looks so weird without it.”
“I got it pierced when I was 18, and I'm 34 now. I got special pregnancy jewelry to wear in my belly button piercing during my first pregnancy, and kept it through the whole pregnancy and birth. But I took it out within a year postpartum because my kid wouldn't leave it alone. My son is 7.5 now, so it's been out for years. About a year ago (after another pregnancy and birth), I decided to see if the hole was still open, and it was! I put a curved barbell in. But I apparently didn't tighten the closure enough, and the bottom part fell off within days, and I couldn't be bothered to get a new one. But I just checked, and the hole is still there. It's lasted through two pregnancies and I bet it'll be there forever.”
“Devil horn stretch marks around it after twin pregnancy. Noice.”
“Took mine out when I got pregnant with twins. For three years afterward I was resigned to the idea that my once cute bellybutton would forever be a screaming maw, mocking me for all the crop tops I should have worn when I was younger. Now I'm 6 years postbirth and my belly button has returned to normal, but I haven't put it back in because I fear the kids will pull it out, either accidentally or because they're super curious. I make sure the hole stays open just in case I change my mind.”
“My piercing survived pregnancy! I kept waiting for it to start bothering me, but it never did. Now, I'm a mom of a four-year-old, rocking a 20-year-old navel piercing. Honestly, it just feels like a part of my body.”
“I had my navel pierced when I was 22, and got special flexible jewelry so I could keep it through my pregnancy at 38. It was often irritated forever, because my belly button is right at my belt line and it rubbed. When I was 42 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to remove it for MRIs. The last time I took it out was for my post-chemo MRI, and I swear that hole closed up in the 30 minutes it took to do the test. I was never able to re-insert it and now it is completely healed over, just a small scar. My other piercings all hung out, just that one was was super intent on healing! I was sad to lose it, but I’m glad it healed so nicely.”
“I was really worried about loose skin all throughout my twin pregnancy, so I set aside money for a tummy tuck. Fortunately, my tummy bounced back better than I thought it would. So I used that money on a night nurse.”
I did some deep investigating (posted the question on Twitter) and heard from nobody who had ever gotten their belly button ring hole closed up by a professional. When I asked the official Evil Witches plastic surgeon, she says she’s never done that work per se, but that “But I have done multiple umbilicoplasties on belly buttons that weren’t looking so hot after the big event. Usually they have a small hernia and get all stretched out so part of the repair is making the belly button look nice again.”
Maybe I’m reading my data wrong but I feel like currently the only solution to saggy mom post-baby belly button ring hole (SMPBBBRH) is for us to invent a time machine and go back and warn our young selves to just get an awesome lower back tat instead.
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