In desperation, I had my husband call a local lactation consultant (who also happens to be my friend), and instead of giving me all the pat answers that I have memorized, and knowing that I have breastfed twice before, for a year or more each time, she recommended the herb, Fenugreek. I had heard of this herb but didn't know of its milk-enhancing properties. She also told us about the drug, Reglan, which has similar properties, and recommended that we ask my doctor for it. When I was admitted to the hospital later that night, my husband asked that I be given Reglan, in addition to my other IV meds, and they complied. An added benefit with Reglan--which is what it is most often used for--is it reduces nausea, which I was also having trouble with.
I mention this herb and drug in the hope that it may help someone else in a similar situation. Without those regular doses of Reglan, I probably would have dried up completely. I was very grateful that my husband was able to take time off his summer job to be with me in the hospital, and was able to bring our baby with him so that I could nurse throughout the day. That, besides the Reglan, are what saved my milk because I didn't have enough energy to pump more than once a day, in the evening, after my baby had left. (Did you ever realize how much more energy it takes to pump than to let the baby do the work?) There were so many times during the worst part of my illness when I despaired of being able to continue breastfeeding. It would have been so much easier to give up and just resort to formula, and I was often tempted to do so. But my knowledge of the importance of breast milk for the health of my baby, and my commitment to breastfeeding kept pushing me to keep trying, though I really didn't have the energy to even nurse him lying down. (It was alarming to be that weak, let me tell you!)
Now we are back to exclusively breastfeeding and I can tell my baby is once again getting enough. I can't tell you what a relief that is, to be able to provide for him myself again! How grateful I am for an informed lactation consultant, and modern medicine. (I still want to try the Fenugreek sometime, though...)