“Mama, mama!” My 1-year-old daughter cried over the baby monitor.
“Coming,” I responded, setting my fresh coffee on the table.
I strolled over to her bedroom door, the words “Good morning!” poised on my lips. But when I entered her room, I noticed she wasn’t standing up, as she usually did, waiting to greet me with outstretched arms. Instead she was sitting down, partially hidden behind the rail of her crib.
And then I saw her.
My daughter sat motionless on her bed covered in a thick blanket of blood.
A stream ran from her nose onto her pajamas and skin. It caked her blond hair, making it appear black and clumpy.
When I reached for her, her head flopped to one side like a rag doll.
“Something’s wrong with the baby!” I screamed to my husband who slept in the next room.
Moments later he ran, panicked, into the nursery. The look of horror on his face when he saw her mirrored my own. He tipped her head back and pinched the bridge of her nose, attempting to staunch the flow of blood, but it continued to pour from her nostrils, unabated.
“We need to get her to the ER,” my husband urged, pulling our daughter’s blood-soaked blanket protectively around her.
I took a deep breath and nodded, following him to the car. Through my shirt, I could feel her heart racing against my body, a thrum-thrum-thrum that filled the silence all the way to the hospital.
Once we arrived, we were ushered into a private room where we waited for the attending physician. He arrived moments later with his assistant in tow, both appearing visibly shaken by the appearance of our daughter. Every part of her body — and mine — was bathed in various shades of red. After a brief examination, we were told she needed immediate transfer to Texas Children’s Hospital.
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