Joanne L.

I remember my eyes bouncing and I felt decidedly faint. I saw the nurse’s face when she placed the monitor on me and couldn’t get the babies heartbeat. I knew something wasn’t right. I sort of remember the feeling like something warm enveloped my being as I lost consciousness. I felt so calm and peaceful; more peaceful than any words could describe. I had a feeling of just letting go. Then, I was slowly rising out of my body up towards the ceiling. Everything around me had turned orange. The voices of the staff in the hospital were muffled, but I could see a great panic going on around my body. I noticed that I was the same height as the clock on the wall but still rising…being drawn upwards. I tried to cling to the clock but I couldn’t stop myself going up because it was like being pulled from within. Everything was a deep, deep orange color. I was up against the ceiling with my hands pushing against the ceiling. I thought I was going to be drawn further to the white light in the tunnel above me. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God! I can’t leave my unborn baby with my partner. My baby needs me!’ My partner was violent towards me on many occasions. I felt like at that very moment, I had a choice. I could stay or I could let go and be drawn up to the light. I felt my father, (who passed a few years previous to this incident), was waiting up in the tunnel. He was watching and I could feel his love. It was like a personal love, not like the love coming from the white light itself. I made a huge effort not to be drawn up to the light above me because I knew my baby would need me. I could also see the future with me bringing my child up as a single parent. I had such strength within me emotionally that it felt like I had been given a zap of internal power.

Suddenly, I lunged forward towards my baby and bounced back into my body with great force. It was like being dropped from a great height. Once back in my body, the first things that hit me was the pain from contractions and the medical staff sticking needles and tubes into me. Then I could hear everyone talking and chaotic shouting. There was a real frenzy of activity around me. I was coming in and out of consciousness, but I could hear everything, including my husband. He was talking quietly in my ear trying to reassure me but I already knew I wouldn’t stay with him long, so my feelings towards him from that moment on became detached. I knew the reason I had come back was because I couldn’t trust him to care for my baby. I was rushed into the theatre for an emergency cesarean: where upon, my daughter was dragged out of me and saved by surgeons. She was my first baby at a bouncing eight and a half pounds. I woke on the ward, later opening my eyes. I could see this gorgeous round-faced bright, rosy-cheeked baby in a clear plastic crib at my side. She had her elbows tucked up in front of her with her chin in her hands. She looked like a 6 month old baby holding her head upright. My first thought was, ‘Wow she’s been here before!’ She was just staring at me with her huge, open-wide eyes.