Anonymous Mom: I Pierced My Infant’s Nose
I knew how to do it, as I had performed many piercings myself and a lot of friends’ kids had their ears pierced. I thought it would be cute and culturally unique and meaningful. Naively, I did not expect the backlash I got.
I prepared a sterile area and did it with a topical anesthetic in my own home and with a prepackaged piercing needle, in the smallest gauge available. My son barely cried — it was over quickly and healed remarkably fast. I couldn’t imagine anyone who lived in a society where circumcision (a much more dramatic procedure which I had battled his father throughout my pregnancy to NOT have done) is common, would have much of a problem with something like a simple nose hoop.
I was wrong.
As a first time mother without a lot of friends with children, I didn’t understand the judgmental nature of parents. From the moment I shared a photo on Facebook of my son with the piercing visible, I received a message from a fellow mother I had been friendly with telling me what a horrible person I was — that I had an anger problem, and needed therapy. A short while later another photo was posted to a piercing blog and the internet came at me full force. I had to contact the website to have the photo removed but the damage had been done.
In person, I received hateful stares. In a doctor’s office, a woman stopped her infant daughter from interacting with my son. And that was when I decided to remove it. He was being negatively affected and I wouldn’t allow that. I took it out and today you would never know the difference. It was an outcome I had been aware of from the start. I was only disappointed in people’s hypocrisy — but not surprised.
Looking back, I realize it was a bad call for a number of reasons; I was a new mom, not thinking things through. But I still don’t think I deserved the hatred and judgement I received. I had people telling me to kill myself and threatening to call CPS over something routinely done to infants in malls across america. And in case you were wondering, his pediatrician (a mandated reporter) examined it himself and pronounced it to be fine. I love my son very much and didn’t do it to hurt him. I lost some “friends” over it but I actually gained more than I lost. Many of the people who saw it were more curious than anything and when given a chance to explain, saw that I wasn’t a horrible person. Just different. Many of these people, most of whom are parents themselves, have become some of my best friends in the years since.
So if you were wondering what might happen if you were to pierce your infant’s nose — now you know.
(photo: Dmitry Lobanov/ Shutterstock)