During the birth of my second child, the labor started to go drastically wrong. I seemed to pass out and yet I could hear everything. I got a strange pulling sensation and left my body backwards, being pulled from somewhere that felt like a point near my navel. I tried to shout out to everyone in the room that I was being taken but my body wasn't responding.
I found myself in a dark world. I felt pain and there was a deafening noise like the sound of a hurricane. I felt like I was in some type of purgatory where I was going to stay and initially I was anxious. Strangely, through the pain I had a moment of absolute clarity. It was like discovering the truth of who I was - my essence. I sensed that I had no body, only consciousness and I thought that I would gladly stay in that place for all eternity and bear anything if it meant the safety and life of my baby. Something happened the moment I had that thought and I was being pulled backward faster and faster.
The light began to grow behind me and I could see that I was crossing a lake or a river with black water like glass. It seemed to be night. On the opposite bank of the river were trees and nothing moved. When I reached the other side of the water, I began to see everything and hear everything in my life all at once. I was in a large tunnel with walls like clouds and voices spoke to me. I didn't recognize any of them but they were loving and coaching. They were asking me over and over why was I here. They didn't mean why was I in the tunnel, I was clear that they meant 'What was the purpose of my existence?' One was giggling saying, 'Don't worry, she's about to get it.' (Understand).
All this time I felt like I was accelerating toward the light and as I approached, I felt myself unfold like a flower, although I had no body. As I unfolded, I felt it, the Love, which was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Even now, I cry when I talk about it as my system feels like it's going to overload from just the memory. I was enveloped by this light and felt one with everything, all seeing, all knowing.
It certainly wasn't what I understood of God as an entity, but maybe it was better. It gave new meaning to that saying that God is Love. The love was like an energy that connected every molecule in the universe.
After I adjusted to being in the light, I was offered choices. At first, it was strange and then I realized they were choices for re-incarnation. My consciousness continued to expand and I realized if I let it continue I would be beyond a point of no return (from death). I don't know how to explain it but I could hear that point approaching and knew I had to stop.
I became aware that I was back in my body and being prepared for surgery. I tried to tell everyone where I'd been but they looked at me like I'd had a breakdown. I came back with immediate future knowledge and told the doctor not to operate but to deliver by forceps and that I was having a boy. The doctor seemed transfixed by what I said and agreed to try but was ready to operate. In the end I delivered a baby boy exactly as I told him.
Date NDE Occurred: 29/04/1998
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
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
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the beginning when I was leaving my body and then when I entered the light.
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
Felt like I was gone for a long time but I understand from doctors it was only about five minutes.
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? Yes A tunnel of cloud like substance. I say cloud because the surface was uneven like cloud but I did not experience it's texture.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I heard them talking to me and about me. They wanted me to understand why I was put on the earth - the meaning of existence.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
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? Yes The light grew brighter as I travelled along the tunnel. It became extremely bright like an arc-light and yet it did not hurt my eyes. (Probably because I had none).
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The lake or stream with dead trees pertruding.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Anxious, calm, loved.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It helped me see the breakup of my marriage from the other side.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I came back with immediate future knowledge and told the doctor not to operate but to deliver by forceps and that I was having a boy. The doctor seemed transfixed by what I said and agreed to try but was ready to operate. In the end I delivered a baby boy without surgery but with forceps.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain Only the lake and river that came before the tunnel. There was a boundary that I felt in my consciousness that if my thoughts travelled, unfolded, any further within the light that there was no going back. I knew that if my conscious kept progressing at the rate it was, it was a death that I wasn't coming back from.
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? Liberal Non practicing Anglican
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I would call myself a meat eating Buddhist. Still haven't been able to break that habit. It's hard to find a religion that fits the knowledge I gained but Buddhist is closest.
What is your religion now? Moderate Buddhist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I would call myself a meat eating Buddhist. Still haven't been able to break that habit. It's hard to find a religion that fits the knowledge I gained but Buddhist is closest.
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
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? Yes That all things are connected through an energy that we experience as love.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am far more giving, empathetic and a better mother and friend. I seek friends who are positive and surround me with love. I have energy to reach out to people in emotional crisis and gently guide them back to happiness. I genuinely love people; they are amazing, even when they are at their worst.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The level of emotion and the experience of Love that was so much more intense than that experienced in a physical form.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I continue to have what I would term prophetic dreams. The handful of people who know actually place quite a bit of faith in those dreams, which is very weird. Sometimes I just don't tell people as I feel that the universe has a plan that doesn't need me interfering with it.
Probably the strangest thing has been the presence of 11:11 in my life since the NDE. I seem to see it at junctions in timelines or fate. I saw it daily up to three times a day before 9/11 and a few other major disasters since then. I also see it coinciding with important decision points in my life. Maybe I've just got a great atomic body clock and see it but it's been pretty pervasive beyond just clocks.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The concept that we are our own judge and jury and put ourselves in purgatory, only to be released by one selfless thought. (I've just finished a painting on the subject.) The concept that we are all part of the concept, which we call God and are, therefore all connected in this world and the next. Death is just another rite of passage. Reincarnation exists in some form. I was pretty shocked about that being part of my NDE. Whether it is exactly as Buddhists believe or some type of strange cellular memory - who can say.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Initially I told my father and mother. My father just gives me the crazy look but My mother, who was dying of cancer at the time, found it very important as she had her own NDE toward the end and was very serene about her last days. I have told very few friends as people think you have a mental illness and, in my position as a very logical IT Business Analyst, that's a bad thing. I shared it with a group of business people I met once when the conversation turned to weird and wonderful things. It was surreal as we all ended up crying at a board room table in our business suits and they couldn't stop thanking me. I had a deep sense at the time that they needed to hear the story.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I'd heard the classic tunnel and light story but that's about it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It felt a hundred percent real to me in the months after it happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real After a few years it doesn't help that people treat the experience like some sort of psychological break, as you start to doubt your sanity. All I know is that whenever I recall the experience, I feel inside like I am back there with such strong emotions - even after eleven years. No dream has that effect on me or can be so easily recalled. I think the whole experience is stored in my permanent memory, unlike dreams that seem to vaporize over time.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No