In December 2008, my partner and I were ecstatic to find out I was pregnant. I had never had a child before. At around 10 weeks, I went in for a standard CVS procedure to check for chromosome defects. [Editor's Note: CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) is a diagnostic test for identifying chromosome abnormalities and other inherited disorders.] It took over a week to get the results that our fetus has a Trisomy 18. Since this defect causes late term miscarriage or death of the baby within a few days after birth, we decided to terminate the pregnancy. Because I was at the start of the 2nd trimester, the doctor said I need a D&E abortion with general anesthesia. [Editor's Note: D&E abortion is a dilatation and evacuation therapeutic termination of a pregnancy.] This entails going to the GYN doctor the day before and have Laminaria seaweed sticks inserted into the cervix to open it up in preparation for the procedure the next day. As my partner and I walked out of the doctor's office and down the hallway towards the elevator, I had the psychedelic sensation of the floor feeling as if it was giving way beneath my feet. It felt like walking on 1-foot high memory foam. I was telling this to my partner and as we got to the elevator, I turned towards him and fainted. He says that I 'wilted like a flower.' Once on the floor, it was as if a hole/space with blurred edges had opened up in the side of the hospital and I could see outside the building. I saw a small cloud-like tuft move out of me, out the building and up towards the sky where I felt the presence of many beings turned towards and welcoming the spirit moving out of me. To me it felt like the same energy as if walking towards a party with many people: like the energy of many beings. I have a mental image of these beings being white and surrounded by whiteness. I also sensed a beautiful, comforting, peaceful music. I don't think I heard music and I have no auditory memory of music, but somehow I sensed this wonderful music. I wanted to follow the spirit and fly upwards, but at that moment, I felt the weight of my body.I opened my eyes and saw a doctor leaning over me. I immediately closed my eyes again, wanting to go back into the experience, like when I wake from a good dream and want to go back into it, but by this point I could hear the doctor talking and I was back in my body, feeling the cold floor beneath me. The doctor pointed my partner and me to an examination room and we waited there for 15 or 20 minutes. My partner thought a doctor would come see how I was doing, but it was Friday afternoon and my sense was that everyone in the clinic was trying to finish up and go home. I insisted to my concerned partner, that I was fine and we could leave to walk home. During the 20 minutes' walk home, I told my partner that I could feel that the baby was gone. While the whole time I had been pregnant, I had a sense of there being a life inside of me, now that sense was gone. I felt empty and alone.
Date NDE Occurred: February 2009
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening.
Loss of my fetus seemed to occur at exactly that moment.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain My answer to this is 'No', except that I saw through the hospital building and outside; and the blurred edges of this white 'party' of beings, I could see the landscape outside the building. I wish I was a painter and could create a picture of it.
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 It was like a vivid dream except that it has not at all faded from my memory the way dreams do.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the entire time I was passed out, which was only for a few minutes.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was dream-like, except it hasn't faded from my memory.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I have a sense of music that went along with the energy of these beings and this space that opened in the sky; but I do not recall there being an actual auditory aspect.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It wasn't a tunnel. It was a bright white space opened up within/surrounded by the bright sunny day taking place outside. I didn't pass through this space, but I watched my baby's spirit pass quickly up and through the space.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I sensed that the awaiting beings were beings who are no longer alive. In retrospect, I feel like my ancestors were present.
The experience included: Unearthly 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 Whiteness
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No I just got a glimpse into another realm.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, peace, ecstasy, a desire for it to not stop, union, inter-connectedness, love, acceptance, welcoming. I also feel a vague sense that my ancestors were there.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No But it did have an epiphany element.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic
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 I've always thought that when you die, you die. But at the same time, for over 10 years I have been intrigued by Rupert Sheldrake's concepts of morphogenic fields and morphic resonance and do find it plausible that our life force and the cumlative energy of our existence stay around for sometime. Ancient Chinese beliefs are that, although the body can pass quickly, the spirit takes several days.
My family background is Christian, Unitarian, but I only went to church on Easter and Christmas as a child. I have my own spiritual sense, but am somewhat anti-religion.
I question that my experience was so close to the concept of Heaven and question my experience as just being some made up return to those ideas I was instilled with of as a child...
I'd like to understand what I experienced better so as to validate it...
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 There were no voices: just this ineffable sense of music. Maybe my feeling of music is just that this experience was just so all- encompassing that I cannot separate the sensory experiences. It's so difficult to put this into words. Language is too limiting.
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? Yes The overall experience was of oneness.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No I don't think of it in terms of "God" or one supreme being.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God does not exist
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Yes Yes because of the presence of these beings.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly 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 I wish I had....
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Yes, in that the overall, all encompassing feeling of the experience was of love.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life Slight changes in my life. I have a sense of my own spirituality. It is separate from the concept of the Christian God. My experience was in keeping with what I felt/find plausible both before and now.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was ineffable. There are certain visual aspects, I have never found myself, even trying to describe to people. I cannot even articulate the sense of music in my own head. I have no words for it.
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 It was a stressful, upsetting time in my life. I have several specific memories seared into me.
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? Seeing the spirit of my baby was profound.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I immediately told my partner. I've only shared with 4 or 5 others.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I had only heard the term. Maybe I had seen an advertisement for a show about it on TV or noticed a headline in a National Enquirer in the grocery store.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real I still don't know what to make of it. See my comment about 'Heaven' above.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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