My obstetrician was a physician I had worked with as a student nurse. He used hypnotism to help his patients in labor. We practiced hypnotism during routine prenatal office visits. I did not have an obstetrician until my husband was discharged from the Army in May of 1962 and we returned to California.The Doctor, now deceased, was competent and reassuring. I had almost constant hyperemesis for most of the pregnancy. I lost weight and stayed hydrated on snow cones and Orange Julius. My weight at conception was one hundred eight pounds. I ate often and small amounts. I had several false labors. I often had severe stomach pain, whether I had an empty stomach or a full stomach. So I was six months along when I contacted the doctor. As my due date neared, August 31st, we would stick around the house because we didn't want to be far away from Oakland. I was well effaced during labor but couldn't get to full dilation. I also was having diarrhea during labor. I did not have an intravenous line. I asked the doctor if he would help me relax like we practiced in the office. At that time, he broke the amniotic sac, and fluid flowed over the sides of the gurney. It felt weird. He started talking to me, having me rest; focus on localizing from the top of my head down inch by inch to my toes. Within twenty seconds, I was fully dilated, and my son was crowning. His presentation was sideways. I was rushed into the delivery room. Up in stirrups. I had a Block and an Episiotomy. Then everything was black. I was sliding down something like an auger. I felt comfortable and warm. I had no pain. I was sliding down to the very brightest light I have ever seen. It was comforting. I was not frightened. On my slide, I saw a cameo-like face of my baby, then my mother, then my husband, and then my dad. They told me it was too soon. It was too soon to leave. You have your baby, I thought. I was smiling. I kept sliding to the light. I remember waking up in a room that was not my post-partum room. I asked a Nurse why I was not in my room. She said I had to be watched because I had no blood pressure. I said thank you and asked for my husband. Much later, the doctor said he had had to give me about two minutes of anesthesia to enlarge the episiotomy and turn the baby with forceps. I did not have a blood transfusion. I didn't tell anyone for a long, long time afterward because I was afraid someone would think I was quite crazy. During the whole time, I was never afraid. I felt calm. I was fearful to share the experience with my family.
Date NDE Occurred: 'August 26th, 1962'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Hemorrhaging after the birth of my first son. Evidently, I had no palpable blood pressure for a period of time. He was a very large, long new born for my size.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 I felt more alert because everything was so very clear. I saw faces of my mother and others, like in Cameo. They had no hair, no eyeglasses, and no extra things like earrings. Nothing extra.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I began sliding down the auger to the intensely bright light. It really is there. I believe it. No one will ever convince me the light is anything other than real.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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 know how I can explain it. I was watching and feeling myself slide downward.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was more acute, though I didn't hear anyone in the delivery room speaking. I was not aware of any movement, sounds, or touching.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain Everything was black around me except for the light and the lighted cameo faces. I was hearing their reassurance.
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: Darkness
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? An incredible sense of sadness looking downward to the joy of the light. It was so, so real, even now these many years later.
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately 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- Catholic
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
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 heard a voice I could not identify
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? No I was only uncertain after. During the experience I was sure If I continued on to the light "God" would be there.
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? Yes I was needed to stay because I was needed. I was wanted.
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? Yes My purpose was I had work to do. I was needed.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists┬
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I thought I was dying and felt I would see "God", a Great Joy.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not 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? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The facial expressions on the cameo faces were calm, plain. The voice was positive. It seemed like only one voice, not male or female.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes This is the first time I ever had the courage to write the experience down. After a couple of other unusual occurrences in my married life, I don't think my experience strange. The other experiences were not near death.
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 as accurately as 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? Yes I had an experience where my husband was going fishing with another man. I had a dream that awoke me in the middle of the night about my husband probably drowning in the lake he would fish in the following day.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about a year.
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'm not subject to frequent dreams or nightmares. I sleep very soundly. I have a twin brother, born three minutes before me. I almost always wake up three to five minutes before my alarm is set to go off. I have never been late to work because I overslept. Other things that have happened to me have proven to be 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
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? If you want to know about any other unusual occurrences, I am here.
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