I had my cesarean section at 7:00 pm on the 18th of August 1988 and my daughter was born at 7:22 pm. I had been back in my room about four hours when my uterus stopped contracting and the nurses had to massage it. Soon after that was the first time, my blood pressure dropped. I knew something was wrong with me and told my parents and my nurse as much. I got two units of blood and stabilized. But I still knew I was going to die. This same event happened three more times during the night resulting in three more transfusions and my parents being called back two times. The last time, at about 4:30 am, the nurse came in because my blood pressure monitor alarm was going off. She called my name, I turned my head, vomited, and told her I was dying - at that point, I had no blood pressure. I remember thinking that I couldn't even remember what my daughter looked like. My doctor met me as the nurses were trying to get another IV line in to get me ready to go back to the operating room. He placed his hand on my belly and it looked like he had laid it down on a wooden surface that is how full of blood it was. I was in and out of it on the way to the operating room, and I couldn't see my mom and dad because I was in too bad of a shape to wait. The blood bank was out of my blood type so they were flying some in from Asheville on the medical air ambulance. I don't remember getting to the operating room, but I do remember sitting on the operating room lights watching nurses and doctor's working on my hands, arms, feet, and legs trying to get IV lines in to give me blood and fluids to try to get my blood pressure back up. It didn't hurt, I felt very calm and peaceful. I wasn't scared. I could see my incision line; I could see everything they were doing. I remember thinking that I needed to see Erica, my daughter, because I didn't want to die without seeing her first.
But I could not go to the nursery, I tried very hard to, I moved around in the operating room, but couldn't go out the door. I was getting pretty mad by that time and that was when I heard someone say that my blood was there. I remember a flash of bright light and a lot of pain. I woke up in recovery. I never told my doctor about it because I thought he would think I had lost it completely. I thought I had lost it completely. I know that shock can make your perception a little off, but I should not have been able to remember all the details of who had which arm and leg trying to start IV's and I can. I don't know if this will be of any help to you. But I thought it was about time I shared it with someone.
Date NDE Occurred: 8-18-88 through 8-19-88
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedChildbirth Bleeding after C-section 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening' C-Section for birth of my daughter. I was in hypovolemic shock with heart arrhythmias and no blood pressure despite multiple blood transfusions during the night before having to go back to the operating room early the next morning to try to save my life.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal I was thinking faster, but more clear and concise. It was like I could see what was going to happen before it happened.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? If I had to guess I would say it was when I was the closest to death because the monitors were not showing any blood pressure, I kept looking and thinking, 'that can't be good'.
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 I felt like I watched them work on me for hours and now I know that people cannot live for hours in shock like that.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Lights and colors seemed brighter.
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
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? Uncertain The room seemed very bright.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, serene, relaxed, pain free, became agitated at the end.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
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 When it comes to my family about seventy-five percent accurate. About everything else, about sixty percent.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes NO, I wanted to leave the operating room to see Erica but couldn't get out the door.
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? Moderate Wesleyan
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate same
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? Yes The fact that I personally don't believe in the 'afterlife' theory. I believe that when your heart stops beating then life is over and that is all there is to it. Or so I thought.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Sometimes I got 'feelings' about things that happened right before they happened like when the space shuttle Challenger blew up and things like that.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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 probably real. I thought it might have been a dream, but then I thought that I remembered too many specific details.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I finally told my nursing instructor about it when I was in nursing school and she told me what it was and that it was real and I was not crazy.
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? It left me feeling very conflicted because I am someone who if I can't see it, feel it, touch it, taste it, hear it, or smell it then it doesn't exist. So while I know it happened, it still bothers me sometimes.