I was 40 when I became pregnant with my third child. The pregnancy was normal and except for muscular aches and pains, I felt fine, however due to my age, I was considered high-risk and was carefully monitored throughout the pregnancy. A C-section was scheduled for the normal delivery date of June 4, 1991.
For a few weeks before the surgery date, I felt a sense of dread regarding the surgery, even though I had uneventful surgeries in the past with no such negative feeling. I tutored my husband and son on how to look out for the baby in the hospital after delivery because I knew I would not be able to.
As I was wheeled into the OR, the sense of dread worsened; the anesthetist tried to reassure me that everything would be alright, but to no avail. As the anesthetic was administered, I became aware that I was still conscious with normal thought processes even though I could not see anything. Soon I heard a faint buzzing sound that slowly got louder; I then found myself going through a dark tunnel, the speed of which increased as the buzzing got louder. I entered the tunnel in a lying position, feet first, head slightly elevated and on what felt like an ice cold steel slab. As the speed increased, the pressure exerted on me from the force of the acceleration was excruciating and the buzzing sound was deafening and extremely painful. I saw the dark walls of the tunnel as I flew through this tunnel for what seemed like hours, the pain increasing all the way. I saw no figures or anything of the sort. Telepathically, I pleaded to be allowed to live to take care of my baby at which time I heard a very loud and commanding male voice say, "YOU HAVE NO SAY!!" At that time I gave in with no resistance from that point on. The horrible feeling of cold, pain and pressure of being pushed back against that hard cold surface persisted for what seemed like hours. Eventually I could see a tiny pinpoint of light in the distance; the pinpoint of light seem to quickly get larger and larger until I was upon it, at which time I was gently "popped" into the light; considering the speed I travelled through the tunnel, it seemed very strange to leave the tunnel and enter the light so gently.
The instant I left the tunnel, I could see the intense white light all around me, so intense but not painful to the eye. I felt warm and comforted and the most encompassing sense of total love and acceptance that seemed to permeate every part of my being. Words can not explain this feeling. I saw no one, and heard no sound, only the feeling of warmth and unconditional love. At that moment, I felt that I wanted to stay because of the all- encompassing feeling of total love and acceptance.
Immediately I was shot back into my body and within seconds, the pain hit me as I awoke with an airway in my mouth and racked with intolerable pain over every inch of my body. I was quickly sedated and given intravenous pain medications. Then and over the next five days, I asked my obstetrician what had happened during the C-section and he denied that anything had happened. I learned from my husband that an Operating room nurse had ran out to the waiting room and gave him the newly delivered baby, not yet cleaned off, to take to the newborn nursery. She was placed in a warming chamber as she was cold, and then forgotten by nursing staff; as my husband and son watched her getting overheated, they alerted the nurses who promptly removed her before it was too late.
My premonition came true. I have never forgotten a single detail of this experience, even after all these years. It took a long time to integrate this into my life but at this point, I see this experience as a gift.