Local couple starts new year with new baby

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s a new year and a new beginning for one West Michigan family.

The Iveys began 2020 with the gift of life just after midnight.

“Daddy’s so happy,” Brian Ivey said. “I want to cry.”

Ivey reflected on his new baby girl Kendra as his fiancee Natisha Thompson cradled her.

“Just a bundle of joy, precious,” Ivey said.

He said Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital doctors confirmed Kendra was the first baby born in Grand Rapids in 2020. She came into the world at 12:19 a.m. New Year’s Day, weighing 7 pounds and 4 ounces.

When she’s a little older, Ivey plans to involve her in sports.

“Get her into some football,” Ivey said. “Her mama don’t like it, but I’m gonna get her in it.”

Until that time comes, Kendra’s mom is focused on passing down the same words of encouragement her mom passed on to her.

“Whatever you do, give it everything you got,” Thompson said.

Kendra’s parents intend to take that advice when raising her.

“Very much so,” Ivey said. “It’s a blessing.”

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo said it saw its first birth of 2020 at 1:39 a.m.: a baby girl named Marlee Rai Wiitanen, the third child of Zach and Amberlee Wiitanen of Scotts. Marlee was due Jan. 12 but decided to make an early appearance.

Bronson Battle Creek Hospital’s first baby was Douglas Blowers, born at 4:43 a.m. to Brandi Pier of Battle Creek and Andrew Blowers of Marshall. He was born on his due date.

marlee rai wiitanen and douglas blowers
Left: Marlee Rai Wiitanen. Right: Douglas Blowers with mother Brandi Pier and father Andrew Blowers. (Courtesy Bronson Healthcare)

Lansing’s first baby of 2020 is believed to be Birdee Lee Clark, born just after 3 a.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!

News 8 Links