In 1962 I was giving birth for the first time. Nurses had determined I needed pain medication, even though I was having none, only strong contractions. Immediately, I experienced extreme pain. It was as if my mind had separated, and the reasoning part was unable to coach the other part to relax and let the birth process proceed naturally. Soon labor stopped, and a shot was administered to begin the contractions again; then more Demerol, etc., etc. It felt as if someone was stomping on my spine each time I roused with contractions. In the delivery room, I was told to inhale ether with each contraction, but when there was no relief from the pain I begged the anesthesiologist to please turn on the gas, 'Nothing is coming through.' I was crushing the hand of the student nurse, and finally, I could bear no more. I took a deep breath and just let go.
Suddenly, I was overlooking the delivery table, which was surrounded by a staff of deeply worried nurses and doctors. I realized I was in no pain and rejoiced. But feeling sorry because of the anxiety below, I said, 'It's okay - I don't hurt anymore.' I felt such incredible love for them, and when it was apparent that they hadn't heard me I said, 'No really, I'm fine. I don't hurt.'
I frowned; feeling slightly frustrated, wanting so much to help them understand that there was no need to be concerned about me. Then a male voice said, 'Your baby needs you.'
I looked around, noticing for the first time the gray, swirling mist that I've come to call love. Such incredible love exists, more than we can imagine. I wanted to see the person behind the voice, who said again, with more emphasis now, 'Your baby needs you.'
I was confused, but looked at the table again, and this time saw my distraught husband handing our daughter to his mother, a stern woman whose penchant for time schedules was often in conflict with my lack of punctuality (even the baby was three weeks over-due). Many women came to comfort my husband, and he married, had more children with her, but our daughter was not allowed to be part of his new family. My beautiful child held out her hands to her father, who found reason after reason why he couldn't love her, and she was sad and sickly. But my mother-in-law absolutely beamed. I didn't want to go back into the pain, but enough was enough. 'No way in hell will she have my baby,' I yelled at what's-his-name, and fled the mist.
I think I must have scared them, for the mask was held over my nose and the ether turned on full enough to put me out for the forceps delivery. (Naturally, I didn't share this story with anyone for years).
In 1969, after a troubled pregnancy during, I elected to try a spinal block for the delivery. Blue lights were pinging about, but until a second dose of 'stuff' was added to the drip, I was unable to shake the lights away. I said, 'Something's wrong,' but was told I was fine. I said it again, and suddenly three nurses are trying to locate the baby's heartbeat. Numbness is spreading from my feet upward. I'm watching this with interest, thinking, 'They say that the brain is the last to die,' as the staff is yelling 'Breathe, breathe,' at me. But I can't respond.
The 'Voice' enters here. 'I'll help you breathe,' he says, and begins to inhale and exhale, compelling me to follow his directive.
Immediately, I'm rushed into delivery, and the baby is literally pushed out of me. I was told that the problem was that I had refused the 'relaxation shot' before the spinal was administered. (This is the shot that made me lose control during labors one and two). A friend told me that the spinal had paralyzed my diaphragm.
Date NDE Occurred: 1962, 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth Medical staff reported nothing except drop in blood pressure during 1969 experienceI was viewing things from another place.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Not quite sure what this means. In a way, I didn't realize that my consciousness wasn't still encapsulated in a physical form, even if that other me was 'down there'.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Hyper conscious in a way.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes A Voice, one that has commanded my attention now and then since those events.
The experience included: Void
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I witnessed my daughter's sad future if I didn't return.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will Conflicted at the time, because the relief from agonizing pain had been so brief. Yet, even though I didn't understand all that would happen later, I could not put my baby into the future I'd been shown.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I don't remember being especially afraid of death, but there was a shift into not being afraid of it. As I'm matured, I see more and more that what I'm here to do - what we're all here to do - is to love. It's not easy, and I feel guilty for so often failing at this directive, but there it is. The message is LOVE.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No Other than I have chosen not to tell certain individuals because it would only cause family problems.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I've always had a certain 'knowingness' but how that was heightened, or not, by the NDEs isn't clear. What changed for certain was the ability to explore beyond my church's traditional beliefs/traditions. By the 1970s, the culture as a whole was looking into everything mystical. It was a good time for a person like me to be living.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? There was no worst part, only the best awareness of love and being cared for by my own angel.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I couldn't really tell my husband, mother-in-law or children, but I've shared the stories with friends during intimate conversations. Only one friend has had a similar experience, and she too, feels out of place, as does she suffer from assorted, seemingly incurable illnesses.
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? Maybe that we all need to reach out to others in love, finding little ways to let them know someone cares. On earth, it's we who must work at expressing the love that ultimately runs the universe.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? My NDE friend has been trying for years to get me to do this. She'll be feeling very proud of herself when I tell her I actually did. I think the questions are complete as is.