Brooke was placed on bed rest, and two weeks later, when Brooke was 29 weeks and three days along, doctors decided to induce Brooke’s labor.
Parker was born on July 9, and he weighed 1 lb., 13 oz. He was 13.5 inches long.
“After he was born he had his own set of doctors and nurses that immediately started to work,” said Brooke.
Parker was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Everything was touch-and-go, but Brooke was certain Parker would pull through.
Brooke held Parker for the first time two days after he was born.
“ ... When they opened his incubator and handed him to me I saw exactly how small and fragile he was,” said Brooke. “But holding him was the greatest thing in the world.”
Parker began making progress, and within a week, he was breathing on his own — a fantastic development, considering Parker was only at 30 and a half weeks’ gestation. But alongside the progress came the ups and downs. Parker’s liver enzymes spiked, and doctors in Lexington decided to send him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for closer monitoring. So, at 9 days old, Parker was moved, via ambulance, north to Cincinnati, Ohio.
After 10 days, and “lots of prayer,” Brooke said Parker’s enzyme levels fell on their own, and nine days later Parker was moved back to Lexington. What followed were several weeks of progress and setbacks.
After 65 days in the NICU, three blood transfusions, and two surgeries — one to repair a bilateral hernia and one to build a urethra, since Parker’s hadn’t developed completely — the Gehring family was able to go home.
And today, Parker is doing fantastic.
“Parker is great,” said Brooke. “He hasn’t shown any developmental delays. He’s done really, really well.”
The Gehrings were approached to be this year’s March of Dimes March for Babies Ambassador Family, and Brooke said she knew it was something she wanted to do.