But, then I put in my first labor epidural. See, epidurals in the main OR are very different from labor epidurals. In the main OR, when a patient gets an epidural, it's usually to control pain after surgery - they aren't feeling the pain. In L&D, the patients are very much feeling what's going on, and they'd really like for it to stop. Yesterday, if possible.
So, there's a sense of urgency, and yet you still have to exercise all the care and caution you would with a normal epidural. Oh, and did I mention that the patient has a little person inside of them? Yeah - it's a little hairy.
But, you get the patient in position, and you prep them, and you do the epidural, and it's like the sun has broken through the clouds. The strained faces and furrowed brows and tense breathing are replaced (almost instantly) with a calm, relaxed and smiling mama who now thinks you are the greatest person in the world. There aren't many opportunities in this line of work for instant gratification, so you can bet I enjoy every moment of that!
And we've had two healthy baby boys so far this morning, and a third expected here shortly. And I think I like this a little more than I like trauma call - at least for now!