Hugo and the humpback

The baby whale I posted about yesterday is dead. He was killed this morning by a group of vets and other so-called experts who deemed it too late to save him after dithering about while he starved for days. I am so sad that I can’t put words to it. I had to spend five minutes in the car park at the shopping centre this morning after hearing on the news that the deed had been done.

Maybe it really was too late, and maybe it really was inevitable. I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. All I know is that he was just a baby and he spent his last few days hungry and scared and now he’s dead.

And I am projecting even more now than yesterday because today the whale is no longer desperate for its mother’s milk, but my baby is.

Yesterday Hugo had a terrible fall, landing face first on the concrete. The force pressed his top teeth upwards into his gums. There was blood oozing out around them and he cried for longer than I have ever known him to cry. We took him to the children’s hospital but they said there was nothing they could do for him and we just have to keep him on soft food and pain medication till it heals.

But he hurts so much. And what really hurts him is breastfeeding, the thing he has looked to for comfort since the day he was born.

Yesterday, he tried a few times and gave up in pain and frustration. Overnight he cried pitifully for hours, too scared to nurse but needing to be comforted. Today he won’t even try. I’m grief-stricken at the thought that this might lead to him weaning, when neither of us is ready.

I’ve been doing everything that everyone suggests in a nursing strike, and nothing is having even the slightest impact. If I lay him back, he won’t even turn his head in my direction now.

This could be the end of a very happy breastfeeding relationship, and it’s my own fault.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Oh, Red, I am so sorry for you both. Can you pump or hand express and then cup or spoon feed? It’s not nursing, but in this case nursing really ISN’T comforting to him – but you can cuddle him and give him your milk so he continues to associate your milk and your lap with comfort, while keeping your supply up?

    I hope he feels better soon. Poor guy.

  2. 2

    Lara said,

    I am sorry Hugo is having a rough time – and I am totally with you on the whale thing. I’ve been a wreck about it too. There’s something about nuturing a baby with your body that makes this story hard to bear. Hugs.

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