I had to check back in on this post, and I feel so much gratitude to everyone who wrote in! It makes me feel so much better seeing that so many people have had similar experiences. I had a period of such exhaustion that when people would say to me, 'you should really get some sleep!' (as if it was something I was choosing!) my eyes would practically cross in my head and I wanted to scream at them!!
DD is now 11 months old and I have seen a drastic improvement in her sleep in just 2 weeks. And I mean, now she will only stir about every 2 hours (as opposed to every 30-90 min) - and that feels like HEAVEN in comparison. The other night she was cutting a new tooth and was awake and uncomfortable from about 10pm-1am, but then when she fell asleep she slept for 5 HOURS without stirring. This has never, ever happened, and of course I woke up in a complete and total panic, lol. But, truly, it is amazing how much better I felt the next day, and in general how much my overall outlook on life has improved. (Not to mention my ability to articulate a full sentence!) I am usually a pretty peppy, optimistic person and it has been really hard to feel like I have to struggle to see the good side of things/people.
I also fully agree with the posters who said it has been a life lesson in just taking everything down a notch. 5-6 weeks ago I was really hitting a wall and I decided not to worry about doing anything at all besides taking care of the baby, cooking healthy food for the family, and being nice to myself (ie if I had enough energy I would take a run or exercise, just do something small that I enjoyed). If I could fit in something like the dishes or laundry, then great, but otherwise I just let it go. And that was HUUUUGE for my type-a, control-freak self to come to terms with.
Last night DD had a rough night with a tooth again but it was SOOOO much easier to be compassionate and kind (the kind of mama she deserves) in the wee hours when I had to be out of bed, bouncing her on a ball to get her back to sleep for 2 hours, as compared to when I was exhausted and had all sorts of black thoughts stewing in my head as I bounced!
So, to the mamas who are still tired - just be as nice to yourself as possible. Hang in there!!