Re: Needing support... should I give up?
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
You nursed your first baby, so you know just how easy, fun, and healthy breastfeeding can be, and how worthwhile it is to try to get to the point where the road smooths out. So for that reason alone, I don't think you should give up.
The other reason I think you should continue to nurse is that no matter how hard nursing is right now, exclusively pumping (EP) is generally much, much harder. Pumping doesn't remove milk as effectively as nursing, so it's harder to maintain supply when EP. Milk in the breast is always immediately available, clean, fresh, and at the right temperature. Pumped milk is a lot more work- it needs to be pumped, stored, warmed, transported, and fed to the baby. It can spill in the diaper bag, get forgotten on the counter, spoil in the heat, or fall on the floor. And while nursing generally gets easier with time, pumping does not. If it takes you 20 minutes today to produce a bottle, it will take you the same 20 minutes (or longer) in 6 months- and you'll have to find time to pump while managing a busy preschooler and increasingly mobile baby.
Is a nursing vacation an option for you? If it were me, I'd want to try shelving the bottles completely for a few days, and seeing what happens.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"