I was a breast feeding momma.  I did for almost 14 months.  I wanted to stop at 12, but things didn't work out the way I planned.  Then again, the whole breast feeding process didn't go as I planned anyway.  So, I guess I should begin with the birth of Jocelyn.

I had Jocelyn, one week and one day over my due date.  I got induced one week after being late, but she was a tough cookie and decided that she wanted to wait until 18 hours and 56 minutes from the start of my induction to arrive in this world.  She came and the whole 'being a new mom' experience began.

I had planned to breastfeed.  My mother did it, so why wouldn't I?  Well, I seemed to be surrounded by people who were formula feeding.  Some were outright against breastfeeding.  I respected it.  It was their choice.  Some had tried breast feeding and failed.  They told me they didn't make enough milk for their kids or had problems latching.  Hey, it happens.  I went in hoping I would be able to, but also knowing if I couldn't there was an alternative.  Yet, when I said I was going to breast feed, I got strange looks.  I felt alone.  I was pretty much alone in the process.

So, Jocelyn was here and I was in the hospital for a 2 day stay.  I got frustrated.  She was latching, but then wasn't latching.  I was confused.  I had no help from the nurses.  I thought they were supposed to help. 

 A friend of mine had a baby the year before me.  My friend had decided she was going to formula feed her baby.  The nurses were on her about at least trying breastfeeding even though she was very against doing it.  At the time, my heart went out to her because I don't believe anyone should be forced to do something they don't want to do.  Yet, they kept on pushing her and making her feel like a horrible mother.  

Then, there I was trying to figure all this out with no help.  It didn't make sense at all.  I went back and forth about whether Jocelyn should have a bottle in the hospital.  My husband told me not to because he actually read the books (which said not to introduce a bottle right away)  while I didn't.  My mother told me to because, as a baby, I refused the bottle.  I should have listened to my mother.....  Jocelyn never took a bottle.

So, because Jocelyn never took a bottle, I felt out of place a lot.  I had to nurse what felt like every hour.  She was also a skinny baby, which for some reason is wrong in a society of obese people.  I couldn't force her to eat.  We actually tried formula when she was 4 days old at the insistence of a doctor who I dislike so much because of it.  Jocelyn hated it.  She drank 1 1/2 ounces and didn't want it anymore.  She hated the bottles.  We tried 6 different nipples.  Started with Medela, then Playtex, Nuk, Tommee Tippee, Avent and Born Free.

  Friends came over one night and asked how many ounces of milk Jocelyn took.  I was like "no clue.  She won't take the bottle."  Strange looks were given.  I felt like I had the weirdo child and I had no life.  The Formula Feeding mommas I knew looked at me puzzled.  I felt like they were judging me.  It was probably all in my head, but I felt alone with no freedom, always needing to be with Jocelyn.

Now, I know this doesn't apply to everyone, but I feel like there is divide between breastfeeding mommas and formula feeding mommas.  I'm in two mom's group and it's funny.  One has a lot of breast feeding moms, while the other seems to have mostly formula feeding moms.  Weird right?  So, why do we mommas do this to ourselves?  Have this divide?  Can't we be supportive of each other's methods and not judge?  Being a first time mom is very hard.  How about instead of looking at how we feed our babies, we are just there for each other?

Let's not be zealots of choices.  Like I said earlier, I wouldn't want to be my friend who was made to feel bad because of her choice not to breast feed.  Yet, I felt the same way with others about my choice to breastfeed.  We're women.  We're supposed to be there for each other as we experience something men can't.  Why can't we all just get along???