A woman who has been working on the frontline of the national health service for 45 years has delivered her last baby.
Carole Lowery estimates that she has helped bring around 2,000 bundles of joy into the world since training as a midwife back in 1975.
She even delivered a hat trick of babies as the midwife on hand at all three home births of one Hemel Hempstead couple.
Before becoming a midwife she was a nurse working at a North London hospital where she met her husband of 40 years Robert, who was a patient at the time.
But the mother of two sons, who ran aqua-natal classes at Hemel Hempstead’s Sportspace from 1993 to 2008, has decided to retire because she says the job is no longer what it used to be.
“I have been in the national health service since 1968 and a lot has changed. It is not what I came into nursing and midwifery for,” she said.
The 62-year-old said paperwork has increased considerably. “I just want to be a practical midwife looking after clients,” she said.
Carole, of Bunkers Lane, Hemel Hempstead, worked as a midwife at Hemel Hempstead and Watford hospitals before becoming a community midwife in 1990 covering the Berkhamsted area. She said the best part of her job was ‘delivering babies and looking after women in their own homes’.
Since 1993 she has been working alongside colleague Jo Ashby and, on one particularly busy shift, the pair delivered four bouncing babies in one day.
Carole said: “I will miss my colleagues and all the friendships I have made with all the staff I have met throughout the years.”
She is looking forward to kick starting her retirement with a trip to Alaska and a cruise that will take her through the Canadian Rockies.
A farewell party was held for Carole on Friday evening.