I had given birth to my second child, my daughter, about an hour prior to my experience. I had lost consciousness and my blood pressure fell dangerously low. My experience was brief. I found myself in a dark space and my peripheral vision was expanded. The space was intensely quiet and peaceful and completely void of color. I sensed, and in some way, saw beings surrounding me, as if I were in the center of an immeasurable, yet intimate circle. It seemed that the beings were silently and intently observing my situation. There was no drama, just quiet. I felt extremely content in this space. As soon as I experienced it, it was over. I awoke to a nurse holding smelling-salts under my nose. I smacked her hand away from my face and thought to myself, 'Just leave me alone! I am happy in this place! I want to go back!' I felt like I was being disturbed and the farthest thing from my mind was my newborn daughter. I was extremely weak and could not stand. I was carried to the bed and wrapped in heated blankets. I was shaking uncontrollably. Through all of this, I felt completely safe, unshaken, and fearless. Truth be told, I have always been absolutely terrified of death. So for me to be anything short of panicked in a situation like this was completely out-of-character for me! Slowly, I bounced back by having oxygen, an IV, and warm blankets. I stopped shaking and eventually felt better. I did not speak of my experience to anyone for many years.
Date NDE Occurred: 3-20-03
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
I had given birth about an hour prior. Labor and delivery went great, but about an hour afterwards things took a turn. I was told to get up and go use the restroom so that they could measure the amount of fluids I gave. I remember sitting on the toilet and looking down and seeing fluids like blood and urine overflowing the measuring device they had placed in the toilet. I told my husband I thought I should get back to bed. Upon standing, I collapsed. My blood pressure dropped dramatically. I recall it was around 55/30. It was during the brief time I lost consciousness that I had my experience.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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 think of it as being consciousness at a higher level because it was such a concentrated, intense moment. I felt extremely grounded and fully present, as opposed to scattered and preoccupied with the task at hand.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? It was such a short experience, intense from start to finish. I felt a high level of consciousness throughout.
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
Time seemed irrelevant and/or non-existent. But then again, the experience was brief.
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. What I would describe as vision was expanded. To say that I 'saw' beings or 'saw' darkness doesn't seem quite accurate. No other senses particularly applied.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was no sound.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain The beings I sensed seemed somewhat backlit by a light, but it was very subtle and not dramatic.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Dark, quiet, welcoming.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? It was not an emotional event - it was extremely calm.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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 I felt protected.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
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? Unaffiliated- Agnostic Was an agnostic at the time of the event, and continue to be agnostic.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See above
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I find great wisdom in Buddhism, but do not consider myself Buddhist. I consider myself agnostic.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Prior to this experience I greatly feared death. It frightened me terribly and I thought then when one died, they were gone forever...like sleeping without dreaming. Following this experience I felt a calm and have not feared death in the same way again. I now fear death because of how it would affect my children to grow up without their mother or for my parents to lose their daughter. I do not fear my own death any longer.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am much more open-minded regarding the afterlife and feel that I have a sense that something else lies beyond this physical world.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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.)? Uncertain I definitely sensed the presence of beings - but was not clear of any particular identities.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I felt protected and connected to the beings I was in the presence of.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain I felt multiple beings - not a single being.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes That there was something else beyond our physical world.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly 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 definitely exists Yes It was an overall awareness that there is something beyond our physical understanding of what "is"
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? Uncertain I felt like the beings cared about me.
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. I still do not believe in 'God' and actually would prefer a questionnaire that was not so limited. Perhaps question 43 could have a more expansive list of options like they could include 'greater being' or 'collective consciousness.' God feels too tied to organized religion. (Sorry - had to interject a little opinion there...) In regards to changes in my life, I simply have lost my deep rooted and sometimes crippling fear of death. Moderate changes in my life. I still do not believe in 'God' and actually would prefer a questionnaire that was not so limited. Perhaps question 43 could have a more expansive list of options like they could include 'greater being' or 'collective consciousness.' God feels too tied to organized religion. (Sorry - had to interject a little opinion there...) In regards to changes in my life, I simply have lost my deep rooted and sometimes crippling fear of death.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I feel that I have possibly grown more compassionate and tolerant of others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain It is somewhat difficult to describe the serenity and presence of 'beings' without sounding corny. Otherwise, it is relatively easy to explain.
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 more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than 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? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was a long time, several years, before I shared it. I haven't told many people. The people I have told were either very quiet and didn't say much, or they seemed a little freaked-out by it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I'd heard of the white tunnel and floating above one's self.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it was real, but I didn't think about it much since I was juggling a new baby and a toddler.
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? Reword question #43 and use titles besides 'God'.
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