First of all, thank you to all of you who responded to my plea for advice. I truly appreciated all of it, and the encouragement I received.
Now, an update on Evan: he's doing great! He had a pediatrician visit on Wednesday and was up to 9 lbs., 11 oz. But the pediatrician referred us to an ENT because she thinks he may be slightly tongue-tied, which she said would certainly interfere with his being able to nurse. We go next week. Meanwhile, I still try him on the breast at least once a day, with and without the nipple shield. Yesterday I think he tried to chew on me even though he doesn't have teeth yet!
I am still pumping about 8 times a day but not getting much more than an ounce and a half per pump. I made a visit to Indigo Forest on Wednesday to rent a newer-model hospital-grade breast pump since our month with the hospital machine is up, and I talked to Beth, the owner, who is a midwife and lactation consultant. She was so compassionate and full of information. I won't tell you how much I spent (isn't breastfeeding supposed to save you money?!), but she loaded me up with natural herbal/homeopathic remedies to help my body heal, increase my iron stores (she said you can't make breast milk without hemoglobin!), and increase my milk supply (with Motherlove More Milk Plus, which does contain fennel, Christy!). So I am going to give those a try. I also bought some lovely plastic/silicone contraptions that are supposed to help my inverted nips stay out. If all of these things don't work, there are two more things I can try: goat's rue and a drug called domperidone that my doctor said is safe for me to take, though I would have to order it online from Canada or New Zealand since it's not on the market here. Meanwhile, I will keep praying!
At this point I am thinking that if none of these things work, I am going to give up pumping and go to just formula with no guilt, knowing that I gave it my best shot. Thanks to all of you who have given me permission to do that with your kind words. :o)
And in case any of you are wondering, I'm still planning on cloth diapering as soon as my sweet boy is big enough to fit into the cloth diaper stash I have! For now he's still in those newborn diapers and I am using disposables without guilt. (It's nice not to feel guilty about one parenting-related thing, at least!)
On a lighter note: I am having lots of instances of mommy brain, and yesterday Mike said to me, "I'm just afraid you're going to forget why you married me."