Third Time Is A Charm… Right?

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Submitted by Sarah Jarvis

Hey ladies, I’m Sarah and out of all the stories I have read about abortion not many are like mine. So I hope if there is another girl out there that is going through the same situation, that my story is able to help them through this.

I am 20 years old living in Ohio and have been with my boyfriend who is in the Army, stationed in NC, for 2 years now. We found out that I was pregnant a few days before Memorial Day weekend. I was about 6 weeks along at the time. He said he would support me with whatever decision I made and he did. We both agreed that abortion would be the best option. Simply because with him being in the military, me being in college, and us moving to NY in the summer, it would not be good for us to go through with the pregnancy. I was not able to use my insurance because I did not want my mother to find out about all of this.

With it being the holiday weekend I was unable to call any clinics and get answers until that following Monday. Since I live in an area where I have to drive at least 45 minutes to get anywhere important the closest clinic I was able to find that offered forms of abortion was located 2 hours away.

I scheduled my first appointment on September 11th of 2013. I did my online research and decided to go with the medical abortion. It was $425 because I had a negative blood type ($395 if positive). On that SAME day, I was given my pills and specific instructions on what to do for the days to follow. The doctor made me take the first pill that day in the office. The next day I followed the exact instructions that were given to me. I inserted the four pills (2 in each cheek of my mouth) and let them fully dissolve. The nurse told me that I would vomit and I did… Numerous times. I began cramping almost instantly. I would say about 15 minutes after I put the pills in my mouth. These cramps were unlike any other kind of cramps that I have ever had. I’m used to extreme menstrual cramps, but this did not even compare. I cramped for about 3 hours and bled as if I was having my regular period only a little bit heavier.

My follow-up appointment was on September 27th of 2013. This appointment was to see if the medical was successful. I was called back and was asked about my experience. The words that came out of my mouth was “Freaking awful!!” I laid down on the table and an ultrasound was taken. The nurse gave me the news that the medical failed. I was STILL pregnant! As soon as the nurse seen that there was some tissue left she said that this was the first time that a medical abortion had failed in 4 years at that clinic!!!

She then gave me a list of options of what to do next. I could either repeat the medical, get a surgical procedure the following week, or get a surgical procedure that same day. I thought about it and decided to go through with the surgical procedure that SAME day. I was sent back out to the waiting room and was able to call my boyfriend. He was luckily on his lunch break and I was able to tell him about what the situation had become. Emotions were definitely on high for both of us. Anger, fear of the unknown, being scared.

Right after I hung up from talking to him I got called back to take a Valium and Motrin to calm my nerves for what was to come. It wasn’t but about 10 minutes and I was called back AGAIN. This time for the actual procedure. I was asked to undress from the waist down. I was instructed to put my legs in stirrups and they strapped my thighs down with Velcro so I didn’t move. Since I didn’t have anyone there to support me they brought in an assistant nurse and a counselor for me. The doctor put the speculum inside to open me up and then she pricked me three different times in my uterus with local anesthesia. If you have ever donated blood, it felt exactly like when they stick you with the needle only a little bit sharper. After that she then dilated my cervix. This was the most painful part. I had the same exact cramping that I did when I went through the medical abortion. I was screaming at the top of my lungs so loud that I’m sure the entire clinic could hear me! She then inserted the suction tool and removed the remaining tissue. This wasn’t that bad compared to before. The doctor then removed everything from my nether region and was told to just lay there and relax for a few.

About 2 minutes after the procedure I puked. I laid there for a little bit longer and then was asked to get dressed and put a pad on. They helped me to the recovery room where I sat down in a recliner and put a heating pad over my lower belly to ease the cramping. I was given a cup of Chex mix and some Pepsi. The nurse came over and asked how I was feeling and asked me to go to the bathroom and check my bleeding. I was only spotting at the time. I came back out and then she gave me some antibiotics and went over the instructions with me. I was then given the “OK” to leave.

I was told to call back in 2 to 3 weeks and schedule a follow-up appointment to see if I had healed correctly and everything was going all right. I started into my 2 hour drive home feeling “iffy” but okay enough to push through. About 45 minutes into the drive I started to feel very light headed and looked in the mirror and seen that I was turning pale. I pulled over and slept for about an hour. After waking up, I felt okay because the Motrin I asked for before I left the clinic had finally kicked in. I finished out my drive and made it home. When I got out of my car I felt as though my insides were just going to fall out of me. I called my boyfriend and let him know how everything went and what was to be expected the next couple days. I bled for about a week and a half after the procedure and finally quit cramping about the same time.

I have my 3rd appointment on the 18th of October so hopefully this is the last time I have to visit this building of bad news. I really hope my story helps any of you ladies who are going through what I did/have even if it may not be exactly like my situation. My boyfriend encouraged me to do this and I am glad I did because it made me feel better it got it off my chest and made me feel good knowing that I could possibly help some of you! (:

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

Text Exhale Pro-Voice:


Our confidential textline is available in the US and Canada and is staffed during the following hours:

Weekdays: 3 pm-9 pm (Pacific Time)
Saturdays: 1 pm-9 pm (Pacific Time)
Sundays: 3 pm-7 pm (Pacific Time)

Se habla español.
Due to high text volume, please expect a response within 24 hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *