OMG, it's good to know I'm not alone. I mean, I don't wish anyone to have sleep issues, but just knowing other people are out there that are surviving/have survived the constant night wakings makes me feel like I'm not screaming alone in the dark.
Acugirl -- my DD, who will soon be 8 months old, has similar sleep patterns as yours! Gotta love those 5 or 6 am wakings. We just "play dead" and let her crawl around. Some of the times she goes back to sleep herself, but it takes 1-1.5 hours and I have to stay awake and make sure she doesn't crawl off the bed (she sleeps in a sidecar crib.)
My DD has never slept through the night. Typically she wakes up every 1 or 2 hours. At first, I attributed the wakings to growth spurts (6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months), developmental (rolling over at 4 months, crawling at 6 months in sleep and crying), or teething. At best, around 5 months, she woke two or three times at night to feed. I hoped things would get better but now things have regressed. I don't think she's ever slept more than 3 hours without waking/semi-waking and crying.
Problems are made worse by her biting me while nursing
Whenever she starts crying at night I try to nurse her back down. But sometimes she bites me so I stop nursing her. Then she starts wailing, so my DH and I are both up trying to put her back to sleep -- walking, rubbing back, singing, rocking, etc. Sometimes she keeps crying and crying her heart out. I know the boob is the quickest way to get her to go back to sleep, but I can't stand to be bitten. Eventually, she falls asleep, crying, out of sheer exhaustion, with periodic sobbing hiccups in her sleep. It breaks my heart.
I just keep telling myself things will get better. But I want to continue our nursing and cosleeping relationship. I love nursing her, except for the biting part! I don't know what to do either.
Well, that was pretty long... thanks for hearing me out!