1. Hire a doula who doesn't set your teeth on edge.
2. Find a hospital that has tubs. Or, whatever, have the baby at home and listen to people bitch at you for the rest of your life.
3. ASK IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY ALLOWED TO BE IN THE TUB.
4. Get in the motherfucking tub.
5. Pretend you are Muad'Dib, and if you take your hand out of the pain box, the Reverend Mother will stick a poisoned dagger in your neck.
6. Pretend you are a character in The Mists of Avalon, and your baby was conceived at the Beltane Fires.
7. Make those weird noises you saw in the birthing videos.
8. Give up, ask for drugs.
9. Let them check you first, find out you are nine centimeters dilated, decide to power through.
10. Sit on a toilet. Lose all inhibitions. Headbutt your husband repeatedly while naked, moaning and sitting on the toilet.
11. Transfer to the bed. Start pushing. Pushing feels good!
12. Pushing feels less good after three hours of pushing. Begin making quiet mewling noises. Imagine your baby is going to weigh twelve pounds.
13. Midwife suggests "just a drop, just a TINY DROP of pitocin."
14. Let them put pitocin in you. It doesn't hurt more with pushing contractions, it just makes them more efficient.
15. Be informed that you are SO CLOSE, they can see a dime-sized portion of baby's head.
16. Be super underwhelmed. Have seen babies' heads before. Much head left to go.
17. Baby's stuck under your pubic bone. Be told to think about pushing the baby UP and out.
18. You've already pooped. You've been pooping for hours. You're over it.
19. Poop more. No one cares!
20. Baby almost out. "Push through the burning! Push through it! It's the only way!"
21. Grab husband's arm, whisper dramatically "Death is my gift."
22. Midwives look alarmed, have not watched a lot of Buffy.
23. HEAD HEAD HEAD HEAD HEAD SHOOOUUUULLLDERS REST OF BABY.
24. Baby weighs under seven pounds. This is impossible.
24. Three stitches. Whatever. BFD.
25. I mean, they give you lidocaine for the stitches. And then a turkey sandwich. It's a good sandwich.
26. Brag to everyone you see, say it was totally worth it, which it kind of was, do not commit to doing it a second time.
Bonus: Next day, your baby sleeps for twenty hours and refuses to wake up to eat. Pediatric resident says, sympathetically, "was she a c-section?" Throw nipple cream at pediatric resident.