"Twilight Sleep" Was Pure Horror
Moms, what is the worst part of being a mom? Is it letting go on the first day of school? Is it the fear when they're not home by curfew? Is it having to boil all your towels the moment those little masturbating monsters hit puberty? Wrong, the worst part of motherhood is the pain of squeezing a screaming melon from between your legs whilst everyone in the maternity room stares at your hooha. However, thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, there are many ways of dealing with the pain and discomfort. But what about your grandmother's generation? Well, the good news is that they too had a chemical concoction which blocked out the pain of childbirth. The bad news? It kind of made mothers go insane.
In 1914, the three hottest trends in Europe were smoking opium, getting machine-gunned in a trench, and "a new and painless method of childbirth." This new procedure, known as "twilight sleep," was made possible through a mixture of morphine and scopolamine -- the former for pain and the latter for memory. That's right, the whole point was not only to endure the grueling burden of giving birth, but also to forget that the ghastly affair ever happened at all. Women would simply wake up the next day and some nurse would drop a baby into their arms, assuring them it had plopped out of them mere hours before.
Giving birth while you sleep sounds like a pretty sweet deal -- except that it wasn't, for any of the parties involved (except the doctors, naturally). There's this little thing mothers need to do called bonding, which is tricky when you get introduced to your baby via a nurse like she's trying to set you two up on a blind date. Twilight sleep mothers offered suffered from dissociation, wherein they couldn't recognize their children, often leading to postnatal depression, delusions, and a whole host of psychological problems quickly passed on from one generation to the next.