Before the birth of my son, I had pre-eclampsia (now called pregnancy induced hypertension - PIH) and was on bed rest for a couple weeks (the due date was March 3). February 16, 1979, I was admitted to the hospital because of the PIH. I went into labor early morning of the 18th. I know I was given an injection of MgSO4 (magnesium sulfate) during labor. (I don't know if I was given more than one magnesium sulfate injection.) My son was born about 9:30 that night. Several hours later, I remember fumbling around for my call bell but couldn't find it. I knew something was very wrong. I weakly called out, 'Help me, someone help me.' I had a roommate (this was before the days of husbands being present all the time and rooms were semi-private.) My roommate asked me if I needed help and I said yes. I remember saying, 'Oh, Mom.' What I remember next was being somewhere near the ceiling in the corner of the room at the end by head of the bed. I saw nurses beside the bed, taking my blood pressure. I have no recollection of what else they were doing. I distinctly remember looking down at them working on me. The next thing I remember is waking up with a blood pressure cuff around my arm and complaining it was too tight. The nurse explained she had left it on so she didn't have to put it on and off each time they took my BP, since they were taking it very frequently. I was later told they wanted to put me in the Intensive Care Unit but the unit was full. I later asked the doctor what happened and he didn't have a ready answer, except that the MgSO4 might have caused my blood pressure to bottom out. I did not tell him about my OBE.
Date NDE Occurred: 2/19/79
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth Other post-delivery of child
My blood pressure dropped significantly.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 I don't know.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't know.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
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? Incredibly more vivid
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
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 don't recall any specific emotions.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist Mennonite
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Nondenominational Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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? None that I can think of.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was probably about twenty years later that I told some friends about my experience when we were discussing OBEs and NDEs. They were somewhat skeptical about such experiences at the beginning of the conversation, but seemed to believe me when I told them what I had experienced.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Only a general knowledge of some claiming to have had OBEs or NDEs, but I questioned their validity. My own experience changed my mind but I don't think it had any bearing on the actual experience itself.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew what happened was real but didn't feel like I wanted to tell anyone about it. I don't know if it was because I thought no one would believe me, but I just didn't feel compelled to share about it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know what I saw and experienced. It was not a dream. Now that OBEs and NDEs are more talked about, I feel more validated and am not afraid to share about the experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Perhaps there could be more distinction between OBE and NDE. During my OBE, I did not feel like I was dying. There was nothing to make me afraid or joyful. I just know I was observing from outside my body. It seems that there can be OBE without NDE.
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