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Daddy's Corner Emergency Operations Featured Reflections

That Was Scary: Postpartum Hemorrhage

Last month, we welcomed our sixth daughter, Ruth, to the world. The pregnancy and delivery were pretty unremarkable. Everything textbook and nothing really out of the ordinary.

About four hours after she was born, we were in the postpartum ward of the hospital. Vanessa’s parents had just left after meeting Ruth and we were settling into the normal couple days of being in the hospital. Vanessa said she wasn’t feeling very well. Okay, no biggie. Let’s call the nurse.

Vanessa called and asked for her nurse to come down. A few seconds later, “I really don’t feel good.” How so? Vanessa said she felt like she was going to faint. Again, “I don’t feel good”, she kept repeating. I offered her to take a sip of water because doctors always say drink plenty of fluids. I pressed the call button again. She coughed instead of swallowed and then she went unconscious. All of this was within 60-75 seconds of Vanessa saying she didn’t feel good the first time.

This was a new one for me. For a split second, I was in denial. “Vanessa, come on.” and shook her a bit. “No really, come on, open your eyes.” Nope, nothing. It was a strange thing to see, never seeing someone go unconscious before my eyes before. Her eyes weren’t quite shut and her mouth weirdly skewed.

Thankfully, when we were in labor & delivery, Ruth was coming relatively quickly but the team thought we probably had a half-hour to go. One of the L&D nurses told us to hang out, but said if Vanessa felt like the baby was absolutely coming and not slowing down, to pull the call button out of the wall to get people in the room right away. Nurses may have told us that trick before, but this time, it resonated and stuck with me for whatever reason.

Back in postpartum, Vanessa is unconscious and that seemed like a pretty good time to test out pulling the call button out of the wall.

Upon pulling it out of the wall, the chime ringing outside the room kicked up a rapid pace and a nurse we hadn’t met was in the room very soon after that— “Is everything okay?” “No, she’s unconscious!”

Good to Know!

Pulling the call button out of the wall will bring medical staff quickly.

At that point, the nurse called out to another who had come into the room to “get people” and put some smelling salts under Vanessa’s nose. She jolted awake and then looked to immediately pass out again. I took Ruth, who was hanging out in her little bed, to the far side of the room and the room filled with people quickly.

Something newish I think to the hospital we were in, they called a “Code Rover” after the first folks started working on Vanessa. It wasn’t a thing when the twins were born and in the NICU, but from reading a bit online, it is like a Code Blue (for when someone has stopped breathing and heart has stopped), but not that severe. It alerts a team to help someone who is in a life-threatening state, but their heart and lungs are working still for the moment.

At this point, the room filled very quickly! At one point, I counted 20 people in the room and I could see more people in the hallway. With me was a medical student explaining what was happening medically and the hospital’s chaplain to make sure I was doing okay. Vanessa had a nurse at her head administering oxygen, three or four on each side doing nurse-y things, and a doctor at her foot acting as the conductor. There were a couple of nurses taking everything Vanessa had bloodied, then weighing it against fresh versions to determine how much blood she had lost. Someone else was bringing in blood, someone else was running vials down for lab testing.

They worked for awhile giving her various drugs, pushing fluids, and whatnot. I had a coworker lose their wife after childbirth—was this that happening? Both at the time and writing this weeks later, it was the scariest moment of my life.

In our family, I’m the “emergency” captain. I own situations like Olivia’s various emergency room trips and hospitalizations. Every birth, I’ve owned that I need to manage the situation since Vanessa has more important things to do. The twins were a high-risk delivery that put them in the NICU for almost two weeks and then re-admitted when they were a month old. I’ve handled all of these situations without letting emotion in, beyond a bit of dejected frustration at 4:30 a.m. of Olivia’s first asthmatic ER trip.

Except for when my dad died, this was the first unexpected immediately life-threatening situation I’ve handled. I worry and play random worst case scenarios through my head literally all the time, but losing Vanessa while holding our newborn wasn’t one that I had prepared myself for.

Not wanting to be the guy flipping out on the other side of the room, I was able to hold it together enough to tell myself Ruth needed me to keep her calm and to text Erin, a dear friend of ours who had been a L&D nurse. At first, I expected her—or at least wanted her—to tell me something about how this was all really normal and not to worry. Her first response was to sit down if I needed to, which validated that I was legitimately in a situation where it was okay to be flipping out a little. I suppose the hospital’s chaplain being paged to stand with me was validation enough, but I digress.

It was about 30 minutes before I could see Vanessa moving and she finally was able to open her eyes and look at me. In her telling of the story, she was awake ever since the smelling salts, albeit too weak to even open her eyes, but to me, she looked limp and unconscious for a long time.

The worst I heard them announce her vitals, she had a blood pressure of 60/30. She lost enough blood where they gave her a transfusion and, all said and done, took about an hour before most everyone besides a couple nurses left the room.

In the end, we were pretty lucky. Lucky that she started bleeding when she was awake, so it was obvious something was wrong. Lucky that I was in the room. I could have easily been taking something to her parents’ car with them or checking out the gift shop. Pulling the cord may have been enough to get her attention fast enough to ensure we had a happy ending.


It wasn’t until we were home for almost a week before Vanessa and I processed it together. She agreed not to scare me like that again.

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Daddy's Corner Featured

Welcome Vanessa Ruth!

Vanessa and I are proud to announce the birth of our sixth daughter, Vanessa Ruth Gonzalez Kraft, born yesterday morning.
Both Vanessa and Ruth are doing well now. We weren’t expecting her until closer to her due date of the 25th, so we didn’t expect to be here right now! At Automattic, since we all work distributively wherever in the world we are, we gather a few times a year, either with the whole company or with our immediate teams. My team’s meetup is happening right now and they were generous enough to plan the meetup to be in Austin. I knew Vanessa was too far along for me to travel, but it was a rush to get a message while at dinner with the team that Vanessa’s water broke. Nine hours later, Ruth was here.
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Daddy's Corner Microblog

Baby Six Is Coming

I submitted my official notice of paternity leave!

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Daddy's Corner Featured

I’ll Have Another

I never imagined being a father growing up. In my teenage, college, or early young adult years, I could never picture myself being a dad. Even having Olivia, it took years before I owned fatherhood. Losing my dad young in life was a part of it, but simply I never pictured myself with kids.

Things change.

Olivia and Catalina were born. I quit working to focus on being a stay-at-home dad. Teresa was born. I went back to work outside the family. Ana and Dorothy were born.

Fatherhood ain’t a bad gig. After five kids, fatherhood is part of my core identity. So, why stop there?

After a little hiatus that was long enough to sneak in a family trip to Disney World, Vanessa and I are back in the baby business. We’re happy to announce that the newest member of the Kraft team is expected to arrive in late November. 🤰

Yes. Another one.

Yes, newest member. Singular. The doctor looked. There’s only one kiddo in there this time. Bases checked.

With the first three, we waited until birth to learn if we were having a boy or a girl. With the twins, there were so many unknowns and we needed so many ultrasounds, we figured we should find out and save some poor tech accidentally saying something.

For this time around, we have two bedrooms for the girls and a boy would, well, require some decent reorganizing of our home sooner rather than later. We wanted to know how much chaos to expect in the near term!

Yup, another girl.

We appreciate all of your prayers in advance! The little one is due the same week as Vanessa’s birthday and the twins’ fourth birthday.

👰🏽🤵🏻👧🏼👧🏼👧🏼👧🏼👧🏼👶🏼

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Daddy's Corner Featured Reflections

For The Love of The Game

Tonight, we watched Angels in the Outfield, the 1994 movie about a horrible baseball team finding help from a foster kid who prayed for the team to have angels join them on the field.

I forgot until watching it tonight that baseball bed sheets that the kids have halfway through the movie were the exact same ones that I had on my bed when the movie came out. As a nine-year-old, that is pretty exciting stuff.

That memory brought back so many memories about my love of baseball as a kid. I never played or even owned a ball, but I was hooked. I can only remember going to the movies once with my dad to see Rookie of the Year when I was eight. I used to go to the flea market on Saturday morning to buy and trade baseball cards with my sister. I had a strong love for the Texas Rangers, especially Nolan Ryan. I had a Mickey Mantle rookie card. I had baseball bed sheets for crying out loud!

Then August 1994 happened. The Strike.

I forgot how much that impacted my childhood. Even though the Rangers weren’t actually good that year—though I didn’t realize that as a kid—they were still leading the AL West. We were looking good to realistically make the playoffs for the first time!

The strike killed the rest of the season and cancelled the World Series for the only time since 1904. The politics of the strike led to replacement players being called up for the 1995 season, which led to more problems. In the end, the strike lasted over 230 days and also shortened the 1995 season.

It killed the game for me. I kept the baseball cards on a shelf for long time before getting rid of them somehow (if I was thinking, I would have given them to my sister since she did virtually everything to help me build the collection, but I don’t remember where they ended up). I kept the Mantle card for longer, but I don’t know where it ended up now (which I’m pretty bothered by to be honest).

Except for a couple of field trips to watch the television broadcast of Rangers games and a game with a friend who still had the fever, I don’t know that I watched a baseball game for a solid 10 years after the strike.

Having kids who are getting into baseball reminded me of a lot of a good memories before 1994. I never played, but seeing them play and coaching their teams, I fell head over heels in love again.

I remember a bit that I was a Rangers fan and I’m not supposed to like the Astros. Seeing the stunts that Minor League teams pull excites me again. I’m still wary of MLB, but I’m getting there.

I hope I’m able to keep my kiddos excited for the game itself so no matter what a couple hundred of players and owners decide to do in the future, they won’t walk away as long as I have.


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Daddy's Corner Microblog

Anxiety of Youth

I asked Teresa if she was excited about starting Kindergarten next year.

I’m really excited, but I’m nervous about waking up so early like my sisters.

I wake up her sisters at 6 a.m. I wake her up at 6:10 a.m.