Kendra Rose Ivey came into the world with a ready-made claim to fame: The first baby of the new year—and the new decade—born at a Grand Rapids hospital.
As the first newborn of the 2020s, little Kendra made her presence known —just like the roaring ’20s of old.
“Once she got going, she was crying pretty good,” said her dad, Brian Ivey. “She’s got some lungs on her.”
Kendra arrived at 12:19 a.m., Jan. 1, at the Family Birthplace of Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.
A pink-cheeked, brown haired baby girl, weighing in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces, she quickly won her parents’ hearts.
“She’s perfect,” said her mom, Natisha Thompson.
“She’s awesome,” Brian agreed.
Just 12 hours old, Kendra already impressed her parents as an alert and calm baby.
“She was pretty awake and wanting to eat” after she was born, Natisha said.
Although delighted by Kendra’s New Year baby status, the couple never expected it.
In the early morning of New Year’s Eve, Natisha and Brian left their home in Howard City, Michigan, and drove along icy roads to Butterworth Hospital, where she had a 7:30 a.m. appointment to induce labor.
She fully expected to give birth that day. But in the course of her labor, she didn’t start pushing until midnight.
“We weren’t really competing (for the first baby of the new year) until we hit that midnight mark, and then I thought, ‘All right, we are going to go for this one,’” Natisha said.
“They went for the tax bracket to start with and then moved on to the first baby,” said Kendra’s grandmother, Sammie Marshall.
“If you can’t have one, you can at least go for the other, right?” she said.
As Natisha cradled her, Kendra squirmed and made a face.
“I know, I know,” Natisha murmured. “You want to get warm.”
She lay the newborn baby on her lap and wrapped a swaddling blanket around her.
“That’s snug,” she said. “Nice and warm and cozy.”
Kendra’s parents couldn’t wait to introduce their new little one to her older sisters: Maddison, 14 months, Serina, 18, and Jade, 17.
Brian, a professional bowler, hopes she likes bowling and other sports.
Natisha looks forward to seeing Kendra and Maddison, so close in age, play and grow up together.
“I already bought them matching Halloween and Christmas outfits,” she said.
As to Kendra’s future, Brian said, “I hope she just achieves whatever she can in achieve in life—that she reaches for the stars.”