I was 42 years old and about to have a baby with Downs syndrome. I knew that the baby was going to be a boy, and I also felt strongly that he was meant to come to be, but nevertheless the pregnancy had been full of stress and grief. My husband is not a very 'attached' person and has been a source of trial to me; I also had many other children, some of whom were undergoing seemingly unsolvable difficulties.That day, the baby's heart seemed to be struggling, so a Cesarean Section was planned for the afternoon. I had had Cesarean sections before, so it wasn't the biggest deal. They prepared me, and rolled me into the surgery theater. They placed the mask with oxygen on my face. All at once, I realized that I could not breathe, but no one noticed. I passed out. During the time, I was passed out, my heart stopped and my eyes went to a blank stare. Some of the attendants got out the paddles because those in the room felt that I was going to die. I was somewhere else. I do not know how I got there. I was facing a row of people, many of whom I felt were familiar to me although I do not now remember their faces. We were talking. I do not know the subject, but we talked for a long, long time: so very long. Then, they began to smile and wave, like they were waving goodbye to me. Suddenly, the scene changed and the people were gone. The words flashed through my mind, 'where did all the people go?' We had been discussing something intensely interesting, and I wanted to go back to continue. I looked around in confusion. Then the knowledge came flooding back, 'I'm having a baby!' I had completely forgotten. The doctors had already begun to take the baby out, thinking that he might suffer if I did not make it. He was born and whisked away. Later, I thought about the people a lot. I wish that I could remember more, I wasn't allowed to, evidently. Why were they waving? Was it to me, or to my son, or maybe to both? I guess I won't know for a long time. Sometimes I remember this experience and take strength from it. My life can be difficult at times, and I feel isolated and as if, I am totally alone in my life most of the time. My family and friends do not live near; my husband is very distant and busy. We don't talk much. When I think about this event that I have just described, I am reminded that I have friends somewhere else who know about me, and who came to talk to me that day. They must have infused some kind of valuable knowledge into my brain or soul on another level: something that I needed to know at some imperceptible level.
Date NDE Occurred: October 2010
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related. Childbirth. 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
At the time of this incident, I was in the middle of having a Cesarean Section. The anesthesia went wrong somehow, and my heart stopped for more than a minute and I completely passed out. They were getting the paddles out to shock me when I came back.
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? Yes Just the conversation and the events going on in the delivery room.
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the talking.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't recall having any changes in my vision. I accepted what was occurring completely, even more than I might accept 'reality' during daily life.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I do not have any memory of my ability to hear.
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? Yes Some people that, I felt, I had known before, while they were living on Earth.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt intensely interested in what we had been discussing; I felt very at ease, as if there were people who I had not known about but who were very interested in me and my life.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
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? No
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- Mormon
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- Mormon
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
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 The group of people who were standing together in a kind of row.
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? Yes I felt that I had existed prior to this lifetime because I had formed the preexisting relationships with those in the crowd.
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? No
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 felt that I would see these beings again.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably 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? Slight changes in my life Slight changes in my life. My experience did not make my life easier, although I am comforted by the memory of it. I continue to feel the sadness and alone-ness, concealed, of course, that I have felt for the last 21 years.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I guess I have more of a sense of the fact that we are not alone
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my mother and sister about this during the months after it occurred: they believed me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? I am grateful that I had it. I am glad to know that I have friends elsewhere.
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