Long story up to my current situation, but I feel like all the facts are needed to get a clear picture:
My breastfeeding experience has been nothing but painful and frustrating. My DS had a poor latch in the beginning due to a posterior tongue tie that went undiagnosed for a month because I didn't see a LC until then (I was being stubborn, which I now regret). My nipples were cracked and bleeding, I was dealing with thrush and vasospasm due to the injury to my nipples. I finally went to see a LC, and the first time there she had me try the reclined position. Baby latched PERFECTLY. I was so excited to go home and nurse him... except it didn't work out that way. The first feeding at home was a bit uncomfortable, but the second time he hurt me so badly it jolted my entire body when he latched. So my LC told me to give my nipples a few days to heal, and try again. I ended up coming down with a case of mastitis shortly after, and experienced an extreme dip in supply - I was getting almost 6oz every two hours at 4 weeks (I pumped mainly because of the pain), and after the infection it dropped to barely 3oz. I have not been able to get it back up, since.
DS is now 8 weeks old, and my nipples are healed to where I can finally tolerate him latching... but now he refuses the breast 9 times out of 10! No matter how I position him, he won't nurse. I can get him to do a little while he is still half asleep, but he wakes up quickly and begins to twist and pull at my nipple and even shoves himself away from me with his hand. He will start to cry if I persist, so I usually just get him a bottle. I am at my rope's end, here. I feel like as soon as I fix one issue, something else happens. It is affecting my relationship with my baby because I know he senses my frustration and stress, though I do try my best to stay relaxed, sometimes it is too much. There have been times when I have just sat there and cried with him, because we were both so frustrated.
My husband has been hinting that I should just throw in the towel. Even my closest girlfriend tells me that I should just stop, that for whatever reason some babies just refuse to breastfeed. Is this true? Should I just give up and go to feeding him pumped milk from a bottle? I am so reluctant to give up because I feel like this shouldn't be so hard, isn't my body made for this? I guess I am looking for advice and also reassurance from other moms who value breastfeeding as highly as I do.