Now that Tommy's a year old, I've started to get the questions on when we're going to have another. I remember getting those questions when Luke turned a year old, and I knew we were going to start trying that summer. But ask me that question now and my answers will range from: "Um, I'm not sure" to "When he starts sleeping past five" to "I'll answer that question when I'm finished rocking and crying in the corner." I don't know what it's like to have a difficult pregnancy or PPD, thank goodness, but I know that sometimes moms are afraid to get pregnant again for fear of repeating it. Sometimes I'm afraid to have another baby who is as much as a handful as Tommy was.
I never really talked too much about Tommy's sleep, because I know I'm lucky to have a healthy baby, even one who woke up a billion times a night...but it was hard. When he was itty bitty, I looked up high needs babies, and he fit every single category. Not just one or two, but every single characteristic was Tommy. Then I realized that I'd given birth to a very Type A little creature, which is not fair because Shane and I are very much not Type A people. He cried. A lot. Luke never cried. He nursed all the time. He never used the playmat that Luke loved because he wouldn't let me put him down.
He would wake up every hour of the night, starting at 10, until he'd finally be wide awake at 5 (he is still wide awake at 5 every single morning). When I was on maternity leave, Shane would take him from 5-7. I learned to live on those two solid hours of sleep. But then I went back to work, and I had to get up and get dressed at 5. It was painful. I'd catch myself starting to drift off on the drive to work. I fell asleep at my desk once during silent reading. As the day would go on, I'd have a hard time putting words together. In short, I was miserable. So was Shane. Every night at about 3AM, he'd say things like, "WE ARE NOT HAVING ANY MORE KIDS." And I'd say things like, "OH, I AM, JUST NOT WITH YOU, YOU JERK." We were so tired. We finally made some tough choices with Tommy's sleep, because the level of sleep depravation we both felt was unhealthy. Tommy could be up all night, but there was a nap waiting for him at the sitter's. Shane and I would be up all night, have to drive to work, teach all day, then come home and care for two kids. It just wasn't working.
Now, Tommy sleeps all night. Most nights. Some nights, he still inexplicably wakes up and lets us know that he doesn't want to sleep, not really. He's awake at 5 every morning, no matter what. He will not go back to sleep. The other day, I told him that I hope he doesn't love his wife like he loves me. He is, truly, a mama's boy. He's getting better, but there are days when he melts down if I leave his line of vision. Even if I go from the living room to the bathroom. Even if we're at the park, and I have to help Luke on the swings. Even if Shane is there--Shane's favorite thing to do is ask Tommy if he's chopped liver. As I type this, he's chewing on my leg, even though I've spread every toy he owns out across the floor. He's so full of energy. He's broken a glass from every set in our house because he crashes into things in ways that I can't understand. Baby gates are useless because he climbs them. He gets into markers that I swear should be out of his reach and colors all over his body. He tears down his mobile every single nap time because he must destruct his crib before falling asleep. He often runs through the house yelling for no reason.
So, the answer is... I don't know. Maybe never. Maybe when Tommy gains a little independence and sleeps past five. But the other answer is that I look at him and he is so much love and life and makes me SO HAPPY that I kind of can't imagine NOT having another baby. Even if that baby doesn't sleep at all and is stuck to me like velcro, that baby would still be worth it. Just like Tommy.
(But also? I'd really like to sleep.)