I could have written your post, except that my DD is 26 mos now. We went through the colic too and, in retrospect, my DH and I feel that it never truly ended...it just changed form. I had a storybook pregnancy and a completely natural birth, so if yours was less than perfect, I'm here to tell you that your son's behavior is not your fault. And, my toddler is a female so it happens to both genders.
I can see that things *have* gotten better, although it's been in baby steps but I can feel better about DD's current state when I look back and see that it was worse. It takes us a couple of hrs to parent her to sleep, but she is sleeping better these days and DH and I can actually watch a movied on tv sometimes! I could almost say DD hardly slept at all the first year and naps were a crap shoot (2 naps a day--what's that like?). It's still hard for DD to settle into a nap and if it happens, it's an hour max. Then, about every 3-4 mos, she'll nap for a 2 hr stretch and I'll wonder how in the world that happened.
I have had difficulty accepting my DD's spirited personality and spent some time in therapy w/a counselor who helps new moms. I don't think I'll ever really get over the turmoil of our 1st year+. It bothers me to not know why she was horribly inconsolable for 4+ mos. I went through the elimination diets several times, saw a doc about reflux...Then there was cranial sacral (sp?) therapy, a homeopathic dr., holistic dr., etc. Recently, an acquaintance suggested that we see an occupational therapist about "sensory processing", so we're considering that. But if I get any Ferber-type advice, I'm outa there.
We don't have family or close, AP friends nearby so I feel your pain about the lack of available support. Thank God for the internet.
I stay w/DD in the church nursery b/c she cannot tolerate being left alone nor have we been successful w/a sitter. I'm amazed when I see other moms having their 2nd baby w/a 2yo in tow while DH and I are somewhere between longing for a 2nd and terrified of another.
I remember feeling so resentful that I couldn't eat a meal w/o DD needing to be on my lap all the time and nursing; I was losing too much weight and was terribly sleep-deprived. Things started to get better at about 15 mos. I remember we parented DD to sleep, then she woke up screaming (as usual) about 20 mins later. We were downstairs trying to get some alone time (this stuff really tests your marriage). While we were walking upstairs, the crying stopped and we peaked in and she had fallen back to sleep! We were in shock b/c that had never happened before and that was the 1st glimmer of hope for us.
Shortly after, we transitioned her to her own bed and she loved having her own space. She was waking up every hour or so when she slept in our bed; I think she is very sensitive and has difficulty getting into a deep sleep.
Well, this has gotten a bit too long, so I'll wrap it up by saying that I thank God that our high-needs DD was born into our AP family, b/c I know that a mainstream parent would not have given her everything she needs. (Your DS is blessed to have you, even when you have days that you feel like an awful mommy.) We carried DD constantly, bounced her, rocked her, nursed her, cuddled her, slept w/her, sang to her and made her well-being a priority in our lives. We still do these things and I can see that they are paying off. We often get comments about how fun, giggley and full of life our DD is. Spirited babies require so much, but you *will* receive so much.
Hang in there. I know it's tough. Your rainbow will come.
Cindi and Sarah