Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Affects Moms

An Omaha mother nearly dies during delivery, but the struggle doesn't end there. For some mothers, they can have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from difficult deliveries.

Kelly Barkmeier was high-risk from the beginning of her pregnancy.

She had three C-sections with her first three children. Two of them were preemies.

When Hannah, her fourth was born, Kelly almost died in the delivery room.

Kelly says, "I had to have my volume of blood plus an emergency hysterectomy."

During this surgery, Kelly could hear everything.

She says, "It was frightening, very, very frightening."

Doctors at Methodist Women's Hospital saved Kelly. After surgery, she immediately went into "mom mode," taking care of Hannah in the NICU.

During all of this, she was having flashbacks of her surgery.

Kelly says, "My anxiety was up all the time, and it is horrible for anyone who hasn't gone through it, it is awful."

Six months after delivery, Kelly hit a low point. It was at her daughter's baptism she first realized she needed to get help.

Kelly says, "I was up on the altar and saw all of my friends and family and I started crying."

Kelly was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although less common than Post-Partum Depression, it can occur in moms who have complicated deliveries.

Jennifer Brigden, with Methodist Women's Counseling Service, stepped in to help.

Brigden says, "Women shouldn't go home and feel like they are crying all the time for no reason, being anxious that they can't leave the house or she's afraid to leave her baby."

Brigden says "normal" baby blues only last a few weeks. Anything longer-you need to get help.

She also says if you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you will see symptoms in the first month. If symptoms occur outside of that first month, it is not PTSD.

Kelly got help. As her family approaches Hannah's first birthday, she feels like herself again.

"I was caring for my family, but it was a job. Now I'm living life again."

The family is having Hannah's first birthday party with the doctors and nurses at Methodist Women's Hospital that helped them through this.

Kelly hopes by sharing her story other mothers will seek help if they are having a hard time after birth.


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