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34 Week Belly Tattoo

24 August 2007

34 Weeks Belly - SideIn addition to updating the usual belly pic shot (see sidebar), we took a few more since Blueberry had some artwork done this week. I had been thinking about getting some henna done on my belly in time for the birth but I hadn’t found someone to do it yet. Then, when we went to the Arlington County Fair last week, there was a henna artist there! We caused quite a scene at the booth (it was near a main entrance) with everyone stopping by to watch and smile. Then we walked around the rest of the fair with my shirt up so it could dry and got stopped a handful of times for photo ops.

I think people are always surprised to see pregnant bellies in public… although things have improved significantly since the days where women weren’t allowed to leave the house once they started to show (that, as recently as the late 1800s), it still seems somewhat taboo. I’m all about adjusting that misconception. 🙂

Henna Close-upThe artwork itself is called “mehndi” and is traditionally used in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa for weddings, pregnancy, birth, festivals or other special events. Most designs are done on the hands and the feet where it lasts the longest. The artwork is temporary but lasts a couple of weeks up to months, depending on the quality of the paste and the location of the artwork on the body. The natural henna paste used is derived from the henna plant, which produces a red-orange dye molecule called lawsone. Once applied to the skin and allowed to dry for a day, the design appears very light orange at first and then darkens to a reddish brown. Wikipedia has a great listing about henna if you want to learn more.

Belly designs are often done in the seventh and eighth months of pregnancy and are traditionally thought to protect the mother & baby during the remainder of the pregnancy and labor. I like it because it feels like a great outward expression of the celebration of the beauty of pregnancy… and because it helps hide my belly button! I will probably get another design done before Blueberry gets here — maybe something more intricate (some of the mehndi are amazingly detailed, you can do a Google image search to see) and maybe something on my feet as well.

34 Week Belly Angle

2 Comments leave one →
  1. szdcps82 permalink
    26 August 2007 08:34

    aw pretty!

  2. M.S. permalink
    26 April 2008 07:20

    Hello! I’m a birth doula working toward certification, and I would love to have your permission to use the close-up photo of your henna’ed belly for my business myspace background. I will give proper credit, of course! Please let me know if you would allow me to do this 🙂 Thank you!

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