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Gavin Hill, born over 5 weeks early on New Year's Day in 2009, turns 10 years old

Gavin Hill, born over 5 weeks early on New Year's Day in 2009, turns 10 years old
Gavin Hill of Hampstead celebrates his 10th birthday on Jan. 1, 2019. He's pictured with his mother, Kristin Poklemba. (Phil Grout/for Carroll County Times)

When Kristin Poklemba went for a routine sonogram at Carroll Hospital on New Year’s Eve in 2009, she learned her son wasn’t coming in February as planned.

“They kept me overnight,” Poklemba, 29, told the Times. “They decided to do a C-section; he was breech.”

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And so Jordan “Gavin” Hill was born five-and-a-half weeks early, she said.

The newborn spent three days at the hospital and then 18 days at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore before he was able to come home on Jan. 21, 2009.

Gavin turns 10 on Jan. 1.

He splits his time living in Hampstead with his mother, stepfather, siblings and two dogs; and across town with his father, Thomas “T.J.” Hill, stepmother and three dogs.

“When I had Gavin, I was living in my parents’ house in Eldersburg,” Poklemba said. “I was engaged to his dad at the time. We ended up getting married that year.”

Poklemba was working at Martha & Mary's Restaurant in Reisterstown then.

Gavin Hill shows his baby sister, Kensi, his baby pictures, taken after he was born in Carroll County on New Year's Day in 2009.
Gavin Hill shows his baby sister, Kensi, his baby pictures, taken after he was born in Carroll County on New Year's Day in 2009. (Phil Grout/for Carroll County Times)

These days she works at Penguin Random House, and has been married to Cap Poklemba, a teacher and coach at Gerstell Academy, for four years.

Gavin’s stepsister, Cadence, also has a birthday coming up. She was born the day Gavin came home from the hospital.

“They’re both about to turn 10,” Kristin Poklemba said. “It’s like having twins.”

This year Gavin is in fourth grade at Hampstead Elementary School. He likes to play baseball, soccer and draw, his mother said.

“I really like karate,” Gavin said last week, sitting on the couch in his living room next to his 14-month-old sister Kensington, or Kensi. “I just got my yellow belt a week ago.”

Gavin Hill plays with his baby sister, Kensi.
Gavin Hill plays with his baby sister, Kensi. (Phil Grout/for Carroll County Times)

He also likes to play video games, he said. He has a Nintendo Switch at his father’s house, and just got a Nintendo 64 gaming system for Christmas at his mother’s house.

Because Christmas and his birthday are so close together, Poklemba said he splits time between both parents. Since he spent Christmas Eve with his mother this year, she said, he will spend New Year’s Eve with his father.

And of course, he already has birthday plans.

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“At my birthday party we are going to have a sleepover with the Escape Room [in Finksburg],” Gavin said.

Gavin also talked about some of his favorite things.

When asked what his favorite animal is, he said, “A comb jelly.” And when asked why he likes the jellyfish-like marine invertebrate, he said: “I just like how it lights up. I’ve seen it in movies.”

Gavin said he isn’t yet sure what he wants to do when he grows up, but when his mother suggested architect, because he likes to draw, or video game designer, because he likes to play games, he said, “Maybe.”

The new year is bringing double digits for Gavin, and the approximately 4.13 million babies born in the United States in 2009.

On New Year’s Day, 2019, the State of Maryland alone is expected to welcome almost 200 babies, according to UNICEF, five of whom are predicted to be born in Carroll County.

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