Re: Supply low... what else can I do? I feel like a failure
It's nice to see you back here. I've been wondering how you were doing, and I'm really sorry to hear that breastfeeding still isn't going as smoothly as one would hope.
I second the advice to call your midwife first. Pediatricians can be pretty clueless about breastfeeding! Some physical issues that can cause low supply include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and as others have mentioned, thyroid problems (very common in postpartum women) and fragments of retained placenta. You may also want to discuss the prescription drugs Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (available in the EU and Canada) with your midwife. Both are anti-reflux drugs that can increase prolactin levels and milk supply. Both have side-effects. Reglan in particular is associated with an increased risk for depression, so discussing any family or personal history of that condition with your midwife is a must. (FWIW, I took Reglan, and had no side-effects despite a family history of depression.)
I can't recall what kind of pump you are using- is it a hospital-grade pump or something else? If you haven't got a hospital-grade pump, I'd really advise getting one, as they do give much better results.
You mention that you're pumping every time you supplement. How often does this translate to? When I had supply issues, I pumped both sides for 15-20 minutes every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, and I saw good results in a hurry.
You might want to try supplementing your baby at the breast using a supplemental nursing system (SNS). That way your baby will learn that all his meals come at the breast, and he will stimulate your supply even as he feeds from the SNS.
I think you are doing a terrific job- your baby is getting breastmilk, and a lot of it, even if it isn't making up the totality of his diet. You should not feel like a failure- you haven't given up and you're doing the hardest job in the world!!!
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!"