I haven't posted a lot, but I can totally relate. My 16 month DD has changed our lives as no other child of ours has. With my first 3 (ages 13, 11 and 9) I pretty much night weaned by 4 months-6 months unless they were sick or something, they slept through the night. I co-slept while we were night nursing and they transitioned to the crib. I put them in the crib and they knew what to do. I also had problems with milk supply with all of them and never even made it to a year of breastfeeding despite many efforts to keep up my milk supply.
This time was to be different. I was DETERMINED to do whatever it took to breastfeed. I decided that there would be no night weaning and this time I had the internet so Kellymom was a great resource. She initially had colic and I spent hours daily just trying to get her to sleep. She never slept well. Bad naps and nursed every 2 hours day and night. She's had non-stop congestion for the past year or so and I am sure that has contributed to the bad sleeping. (I am currently trying to do some food elimination to see if I can find the offender to this extremely frustrating congestion/non-stop "colds"). I never intended to co-sleep this long because I just don't sleep well like that, but it is the only way I get any sleep. Many nights it is just a non-stop nurse-a-thon. My back is sore, I am tired of being clawed at all night, and just plain tired. DH is PITIFUL if he loses sleep, not like he is a baby, he just does not function and since he has to drive an hour to work, I want him well rested. PLUS, anytime he has tried to take her she wants to nurse. I have a hard time not sleeping and then getting up to teach Algebra or Life Science (I homeschool). My marriage has taken a hit because we have had little time together and trying to have sex is hard to say the least. I had some AP moms who I was talking to who just seemed like it didn't matter that I can't function and that it strained my marriage or that it was hard to properly school my older children. I felt like that is a TOTAL lack of balance if that is what their parenting was all about. My one DD isn't my only responsibility. I can't take naps most of the time because I am schooling my kids (plus, if she actually naps, I want to accomplish something if I can without her "help"!!!). When she is awake, she clings to me and won't let me accomplish anything and she is awake most of the time I am. If I get up, she won't stay in bed long, she only naps well sometimes and stays up late until I finally get her nursed to sleep (some nights are still a struggle for a couple of hours). Lately, she is resisting falling asleep while nursing and so she walks around crabby because that's the only way she goes to sleep! I have tried loveys, etc. I am it and I am tired. Some days, I am physically ill from exhaustion. I used to get her to sleep and try to lay her in her crib, but I gave up because many times she woke back up and I was back at square one. Sometimes, I wish I never would have backed down on some of those types of things because maybe I would have made progress, but I can only do so much and I only have so much time.
I had hoped that her sleep cycles would get better as she grew, but I see little end in sight. My last hope is that maybe the food elimination I am doing will help, but at this point, I think it is a habit as well. Dr. Jay Gordon's plan just sounds like a way for me to not sleep at all for several nights before getting sick and giving in out of necessity to sleep. Not that it's a bad plan, I just see the depth of the issue DD has.
I, too, feel disappointed. At times when I wanted or started to implement small changes that could have made a difference now, I was so concerned it would hurt my milk supply and so many said to keep up what we were doing I guess that I assumed that at some point, she would improve on her own. Silly me for believing that. So, now, I am not sure what I can do. I think that the behavior is very intrenched and harder to overcome at this stage in the game. I just don't know what to do anymore. I love the idea of having a regular nap time, but DD only goes to sleep while nursing when she is good and ready and that varies within hours each day. We are on a regular schedule for school, and it would be GREAT if I could get her to sleep at the same time each night and regular naps (as I did with my first 3) but I have no idea how to get her to even that point. I keep reading hoping that I will come up with some idea that just may work to get her started in the direction of sleeping at night without a nipple in her mouth, without regular feedings. At this point waking 2 times a night to nurse and going right back to sleep sounds great.
All right, I should actually do something since she is actually napping now, but I just had to join in because I am in the same boat.