I had severe eclampsia. My feet were so swollen that I had to wear my husband's shoes to the doctor's office. The doctor promptly called an ambulance. I was only 30 weeks into my pregnancy when I was hospitalized because of my extreme blood pressure. The doctor gave me a shot of steroids to help the baby's lungs develop. He told my husband and me that it would take a week to work, and they didn't think I would make it that long. I prayed and made it a week exactly. Now my baby would have a better chance. I was exhausted. The hospital had tried to induce labor in many different painful ways. Frustrated, I looked at my husband and said, 'I wish they would just do a C-section already. I don't think I can make it much longer.' My husband became upset and left the room to pull himself together. It was the only time that he had left me that week. When he came back a few minutes later, my room was full of doctors and nurses. They were trying to hold me down on the bed. I was having a seizure and couldn't breathe. I thought they were trying to drown me. My husband's voice finally got through my panic and I tried to calm down. I couldn't breathe, everything hurt. I was in so much pain. It was bright WHITE pain. I always thought the body would pass out before such levels of pain. I was wrong. I am ashamed to say that I reached a point of pain, that I didn't care about my baby any more, I didn't care about my husband, nor did I care about the possibility of dying. The ONLY thing I cared about was getting out of that pain. In my mind, I called out for God's help. I knew he was the only one that could help me. The white light of the pure pain caused my soul to step sideways outside of my body. I was in the brightest light that felt like I was in a room made out of light. I felt a male presence behind me. I knew that my baby would be fine. But, I had to choose if I wanted to stay in the light or go back. I looked down and saw my husband in the future without me. It would be very hard for him to lose me and have to raise this child alone. I saw my mother trying to get custody of my son and blaming my husband for my death. I sighed. I didn't want to leave the light, but I couldn't leave my husband with that burden. I woke up three days later. I had suffered a stroke and had barely survived. My baby was only 3 lbs. and 2 oz., but his lungs were fine. He is perfect. My thyroid no longer works, but after a month, we were both doing pretty well. It was 6 months before I could see correctly. My eyes were swelled horrifically during the stroke.
Date NDE Occurred: 08/13/1997
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
Eclampsia leading to a stroke
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness Everything was clear and peaceful.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After my soul stepped sideways out of my body
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time had no meaning.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The light was brighter than my eyes could have handled.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was silent during my experience in the light.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Incredibly bright white light
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in a room of light. The earth was below us.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Relief from pain, love, and the stress of having to choose
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I saw my husband's future if I died.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was taught that 'when it's your time to go, it's your time to go.' I was surprised and pleased to know I had a choice.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin I didn't see him, but I knew he was behind me. I heard his question in my mind.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain Someone was there guiding me. I do not know who or what it specifically was. God definitely exists.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I was given a choice to remain in the afterlife.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of pain.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have no time for toxic family members. I no longer have a relationship with my parents, who gave my husband a horrible time during our crisis. I have an older friend who I treat as a mother. Many loving people need you; don't waste your time on those who don't appreciate you. Seek and give love, accept love, and reject abuse.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. This experience was 'more real' than my physical existence. I came to understand that pure white pain can help our souls leave our body. It has a use, even though it is unpleasant.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I was amazed I had a choice to live or die. I always thought that was preordained.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my husband, friends, and later with my children.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was calm. I knew everything was going to be okay.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The doctor's told my husband he would have to choose between the baby or myself. It was that bad, yet we miraculously survived and flourished.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Before the birth of my second son, I had a dream of an angel. The angel Isaiah promised that we would be fine if I named my baby after him. My son's middle name is Isaiah. I made it full term and my son was fine. My heart filled up with fluid, enlarged and I went into cardiac arrest. A month later, my heart returned to normal, and has been fine ever since. The doctor's don't know why it started working correctly, but I do.
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