Oh my goodness, yes, yes, yes, things got so much better. Reading my original post, I hardly remember it being that bad! A couple of major breakthroughs helped me: one was figuring out how to nap while wearing her--I mentioned above that she would fall asleep in the Baby Bjorn and then I could lie back on some pillows and doze or if nothing else just read a magazine. Another breakthrough was using the vacuum cleaner to create LOUD white noise--it was so weird. I would turn it on and she would almost instantly be quiet and fall asleep. I made a CD recording of our vacuum cleaner so that I could turn the noise down (so that the sudden silence wouldn't wake her up again). I second the Harvey Karp suggestion--his ideas worked pretty well for us.
When she was a bit older, I finally figured out how to nurse her while lying down, and we could both nap together. If we have another I for sure will be relying on that in the newborn stage.
Now my daughter is 20 months old and her daycare providers constantly comment on how easygoing and cheerful she is. She still has rough nights sometimes--especially if she's tired, she has meltdowns--but after lots of ups and downs the first year (and a few since) she sleeps through the night most of the time and also naps well and predictably. I think some babies just take a longer time to settle into a rhythm--my DD certainly took a long time, but it was only in those very early weeks that it was that bad.
If I recall, the fussiness came and went, with a peak around 9 weeks. By the time she was four months old it was very unusual for her to cry for more than a few minutes at a time. Now she just cries if I try to make her wear her bib, or, as I did last night, DARE to put a PIECE OF CHICKEN in her rice! ("Chichen no, chichen no--mess. Towel!" then I handed her a towel and she carefully mopped up where the chicken had touched the tray).
OH--Re: the feeding: yes, it took a looong time to rock her back to sleep and it was so, so, so hard. But I think it must have been fairly soon after I wrote this original post that it got quicker--I'm not kidding, by the time she was three months old I think I was up with her 20-30 minutes tops (and she was waking up less), and pretty soon after that it was like, 15 minutes. Granted, DD was a very fast nurser, but I'm sure things will get easier in pretty short order. Another breakthrough was to have the chair I nursed her in be right by the bed (she slept in a crib in our room)--so much less effort.
This is what I would do differently with number 2:
*Rely much more on a baby carrier to get her to nap during the day, so I don't feel chained to her nap schedule. But, try to get her to nap in the crib or in bed with me at least once a day so I can also get some rest.
*Don't obsessively count how many hours she sleeps at a stretch--instead just focus on getting back to sleep myself. By the time she was 12 weeks, DD was sleeping 8-9 hour stretches--but then it all fell apart and she vacillated wildly between 2 hour stretches and 10 hour stretches until we nightweaned her at 13 months. Sleep is not really a progression so much as an ever-widening spiral, so it helps not to obsess over what it "should" be.
*Pump and make my husband take on more nighttime feedings!
*Have a much clearer understanding that it DOES get easier and I WILL feel like myself again--I never believed it when people told me this during DD"s infancy, but it was very true. By the time he's a year you won't believe how endless and overwhelming it all seemed.
*Do work harder at the "sleepy but awake" thing when she's old enough (4 months +) because we did definitely develop a very strong nurse-to-sleep association that made things harder on me. But 4 weeks is way too young to worry about sleep associations, so just do what you have to do to relax!
*Make myself get out of the house by myself when I feel depressed. When Eliza was tiny, I remember one particular jaunt to pick up food for dinner--I was almost suicidal when I left the house and felt human again 15 minutes later when I returned.
*Be okay with leaving the baby with her father. WHen she was tiny I felt like I was unable to leave the baby because she would cry with him--but if I had left her, I think he would have figured out his own methods, and I could have gotten more of a break.
I hope this helps. I'll be thinking of you. OH--and CALL THE FUSSY BABY NETWORK! They talked me down many times. It's a free hotline: http://www.erikson.edu/fussybaby/
Message me your email, and I can send you the vacuum cleaner MP3 I made so you can burn a CD.