Having an independent midwife was great. I really felt supported and that there was someone I could call and ask dumb questions to if I needed. On the NHS you always feel a little like you are taking precious resources away from somewhere else and so you don't like to make a fuss. When you have an independent midwife the whole point is that you are paying for the privilege of having dedicated care. Even our great experience with NHS midwives in Essex was not the same as we always had that feeling that we didn't want to be seen as too demanding. While my personality will always be to not make a fuss and not be a diva, it was nice to know someone was there if I needed them. I had exactly the care that I wanted. It was a lot of money but worth if for my peace of mind. I honestly think that if I had been on the NHS there would have been no midwife present at the birth as everything was so quick that by the time the contractions became close and regular enought to call someone I was about to give birth.
I should never have had to be in this situation as I should have had continuity of care on the NHS. The government bleet on about giving women choice but the system is stretched to breaking point.
Anyway we will miss M_ and would like to say a big thank you to M_, our great midwife. Here we all are at our final appointment. She gives a discount for repeat business but I don't think I'll be taking that offer up as I AM NEVER GIVING BIRTH AGAIN! NOT EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER.