Waking Up Your Primal Instincts

I’m a bit of a heavy sleeper.  When Hurricane Opal whipped through North Georgia in 1995, felling numerous trees on our property and leaving us penned in for a few days as a result, I woke up late that morning having no idea what had happened until my mother told me.  I’ve slept through a mild earthquake (which is still more major than Georgia is supposed to get), a few tornadoes, and countless intense thunder storms.  I’ve only slept through an alarm a couple of times in my life, but I also set third and fourth redundant alarms to make sure of this.

I was terrified that I would find myself watching Morgan by myself at some point and sleep through her crying – especially since I have tended to sleep through any time she wakes Jen up for a feeding.  This morning, I was given one of the greatest reliefs of my young life as a parent.  Jen had gotten up to use the restroom, and I assume that either Morgan was waking up anyway or the jostling must have woken her (it was not long before I normally get up for work).  Morgan made a sound and I woke up out of a dead sleep to check on her.  I was able to get her up and ready for Jen to feed her with no trouble.

It’s such a minor thing, but knowing just how much I am capable of sleeping through, it is a huge relief to know that evolution did not fail me.  Of course we know that there are certain behaviors that have selected over the course of our evolution, and that awareness of one’s children is among the simplest of our animal instincts to have been selected (since, after all, being unaware would typically lead to fewer surviving offspring), but until you’ve had that awareness confirmed, there are always niggling doubts.  It is a huge load off my shoulders to have this doubt removed!

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