They say it is darkest before dawn. Every night I hope and pray that the previous night was that darkest hour, but every morning dawn comes and I've only managed to accumulate a total of 2, 3, 4 hours of sleep and I know I've got a day to survive and more nights ahead of me.
Each night is a little worse than the one that came before it. I have begun to feel detached -- from myself, from my spouse, from my child. I look at her and know I should feel an overpowering love but instead feel frustration and dread, especially between the hours of 8pm and 8am. I would suggest post-partum depression, but it's clearly sleep deprivation, and taking an anti-depressant isn't going to do anything to fix the fact that my child has gone back to only sleeping when held, and only when held by me. (We thought we had fixed the problem, but it's gotten much, much worse, and my back hurts so much I can no longer sleep in the chair while she sleeps.) She usually gives me one 2-3 hour stretch of nighttime sleep not on me, but you never know when it will come, so I usually spend most of it anxious, awaiting the sounds of her stirring.
I would say I'm nearing a breaking point, but I think whatever that point was has passed already. Somehow, when morning comes, I manage to pull it together and put on my big girl underwear and go about my day. Then nighttime comes, and I feel shattered and cracked again.