I EP for 14 months (4 times a day) until I completely dried up for my first child. I lugged the cooler box to work daily. I stopped when I only got 0.5 oz for every session and it's no longer worth the effort and yes, it's hard work. I didn't know anything about hand compression (guess that's why I dried up).
My older child never latched on but I believed that if I persisted, she would have but I didn't, out of my ignorance as a first time mom with no support. Also, the LC I saw told me that it's too late already so I listened to her.
Now with my 2nd child, it happened again and I thought I would have to go through the whole EP process again until one day after 6 weeks of bottle feeding, he suddenly latched on on his own. It's like magic!
He still gets his bottle when I am at work but he will nurse when I return home. You can do it. Even if not, don't be too hard on yourself.
I exclusive pumped for my older child and mixed feed her with formula when I was down on breastmilk.
We gave some formula too to my son now when the milk in the fridge runs out and I am not home with fresh milk. Some formula is better than starving the baby right?
I also try to get more out now with nursing and pumping after to completely drain myself. I pump 5 times a day (3 times at home and 2 times at work). If there is any extra, older sister gets 2 oz mixed with her powder milk at night. I drink like mad (and of course, runs to the toilet like mad too). I take oatmeal, barley water, sweet potato and lots of soup. I nurse him whenever he's awake just to practise. Sometimes, he doesn't get enough at the breast and still needs topping up from the bottle. That's ok. I know that I have done all I can.
What I am trying to say is - We try our very best to give the best that we can to our baby. Just do what you can and don't stress yourself out. Miracles happen when you least expect it