Hey there! :angel4:'s
I come from an old Italian family and I had mine done at birth too! I thank God I didn't have to go through all that Deb! EEEEks I probably would've thrown up and then promptly fainted!
The reason they use these big needles so, I'm told, is so the jewelry can be put in much easier (with that mindset, you could stick a 1/2" dowel in there duh??): and that the quicker the piercing, the more likely a keloid will occur (it's kind of like a very hard scar that occurs within the skin underneath the piercing. I'm sure you seen them on people before. It's not very pleasant and the people this happens to usually have to wait some time before it disappears or have it surgically removed!
I wouldn't mind learning how to do this, it seems so interesting and I'm sure I'd meet some really cool people too.
Good luck with your future piercings and tattoos ...