Laura Z's NDE-Like
During this delivery, I was given an inhaled anesthetic through a mask. (To skeptics who'd discount drug-influenced experiences, I assure you that I was completely lucid and clear-minded throughout. The inhalant was self-administered, and when the doctor expressed concern from time to time that I was losing consciousness, I removed the mask and reassured him that I was doing well.)
A being, whom I understood to be God, told me He needed to converse with me, and indicated that this was a rare opportunity to have my full attention.
It occurred to me at one point during our conversation that I was in grave physical danger -- in fact, I later learned that my blood pressure dropped through the floor. I could hear the doctor panicking in the background, but God assured me I wouldn't die, so I stopped worrying, and with brief exceptions (when I had to say something to alleviate the doctor's concerns), I could no longer hear the doctor.
During this conversation I was told many things about my life and religion, and was given the opportunity to ask, and receive answers to, many questions. But then I was told that after I returned to consciousness, I'd forget everything I had just heard. "Let me remember one thing," I pleaded. "You'll remember that this conversation took place, but you won't remember what you learned until the time is right," I was told.
As I came back into full consciousness, I was very aware that my new knowledge was being veiled, much to my disappointment. But I was so overwhelmed at the idea that God had spoken to me, and that He knew me as an individual, that the disappointment didn't last.
Until this moment, I've never told anyone about this experience. I wasn't given any messages to share, and I wasn't given any responsibility to tell other people, so other than recording it in my journal, I've kept it to myself since the event took place.
The most interesting part of this story occurred several weeks later, however. When my baby was born, my friend K___ L___ was eight months' pregnant -- her first baby. She was seeing the same ob-gyn, but she was in a cold panic. She wanted to hear every detail about my birth experience, and no matter what I told her, she'd flip out. She was white with fear over the prospect of childbirth. Everything about the process terrified her. And I didn't know how to reassure her -- in fact, I was still afflicted with a painful, slow-healing episiotomy, and an even more painful nursing problem, so I probably wasn't much comfort.
Though my son was a pretty good baby, for the first few months he had nightly crying jags. So when I could snatch some sleep, I'd drop like a stone. Dead to the world. But one night, when the baby was about four weeks old, I woke up with a start at about 3 am, for no apparent reason. I was suddenly wide awake, with my heart racing. And then I experienced the most agonizing pain, as though I were in the middle of having contractions. Instinctively, I began breathing through the pain as I'd been taught in a Lamaze class several years earlier. The thought occurred to me: K___'s having her baby. I cannot say why, but I knew, absolutely knew, that the pain was too much for K___, and I was taking on some of it so that she could bear it. Which I was happy to do.* This experience lasted about 10 or 15 minutes, and then it was over, and I went back to sleep.
The next morning, K___'s husband called and said "Hey! K___ had her baby last night." I laughed, and told him the precise time it happened. He was surprised, of course, but I never did tell him how I knew.
*This isn't pride speaking. In point of fact, I actually felt happy to help. It's a reaction that, upon reflection, still surprises me. I'm generally more selfish than that.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Uncertain
I don't know that an objective observer would agree that my life was in danger. I heard the doctor express concern, repeatedly, that I was unresponsive, and that my blood pressure was dangerously low, but I was able to respond sufficiently, during the out-of-body experience, to reassure the doctor that I wasn't dying.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?
I was much more alert -- in fact, I was "multitasking" -- during the period of communication than I am under normal circs. It was almost as though my body was drugged, but my soul was free and capable of communicating. When it was necessary to perform some specific physical action -- such as removing the mask and pushing to deliver the baby -- I reluctantly went back into my physical body, performed the action, and left again to continue the conversation.
Was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience different from normal every day consciousness and alertness? Yes. It was much more lucid, and much faster. It feels now as though my thoughts are comparatively lethargic.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? No
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)? Uncertain
Physically hearing my surroundings was a distraction from the conversation with God...I could hear my physical surroundings, but I was reluctant to do so.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Awe. Peace. A bit of concern that I wouldn't get everything in before I returned to physical consciousness.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Uncertain
There was a spinning sensation, which I think was probably related to the anesthetic. This part of the experience was not particularly lucid, nor was it as completely clear, pure, and unambiguous as the part where I was communicating with God.
Did you see a light? No
This communication was primarily auditory. I don't recall any element of vision.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Uncertain
This was a pure communication between God and me. I didn't see God. I only heard Him -- or more precisely, understood Him. The communication was much too rapid to be properly called "talking."
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Uncertain
I heard the doctor expressing concern about my fading in and out of consciousness. I also knew he was extremely concerned over my sudden and dramatic loss of blood pressure. When he expressed these concerns, I forced myself to respond, so that he wouldn't worry.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
I was communicating at a much faster rate of speed than what was occurring around my physically. And upon my "return" I thought briefly that I had returned to the moment when I delivered my previous child (same room, same bed, same doctor...so the momentary confusion wasn't entirely inexplicable.)
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes
Wish I could. But that wasn't permitted.
Did you become aware of future events? Yes
Yes, but the details were veiled from my conscious memory. I cannot recall them.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Yes
See details from narrative. Had the one-time experience of taking on the pain of a friend during her delivery, a few weeks following my own.
Have you shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain, In a vague way. Didn't make a connection between that and my own experience until much later.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?
Confirmed for me the existence and compassion of God. But I was already living a fairly faithful existence, and so it wasn't entirely out of line with my previous knowledge.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:
Experience was definitely real
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
I figure that spiritual experiences are confirmation that one is generally on the right path. I've had other, less dramatic, confirmations since that time, so I'm probably not living a terribly wayward life.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
I've become more convinced that God is real, and that He loves every one of his sons and daughters, regardless of their errors, mistakes and sins. I'm likewise convinced that He feels real agony at cruelty and unkindness. So I've made a concerted effort to be more kind and more generous...though I'm still far from perfect. Overall, my behavior toward others is much more compassionate than it was prior to this experience.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain
I've been reminded at rare times of a few of the many things I was taught during the experience. Slowly, over time and as occasion arises, small portions of the experience are "reproduced." (Perhaps "revealed" or "reminded" or "remembered" or "recovered" would be more accurate descriptions.)
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?
I am certain there's nothing unique about me that entitled me to have this experience. I am likewise certain that every thinking person is entitled to revelation from God, in one form or another, as part of the experience of mortality. Finally, I am certain that when one exercises faith (which requires a modicum of humility), one is "rewarded" in ways that far exceed what the effort merits.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes