GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The family of one of the first West Michigan babies born in 2020 is celebrating a special birthday, in what’s been a roller coaster of a year.
Kendra Rose Ivey was born at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids at 12:19 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2020.
Her parents, Natisha Thompson and Brian Ivey, from Howard City, told FOX 17 that despite all the craziness this year, it’s actually been a great one all because of their daughter.
“It obviously started out with a bang,” said Thompson.
2020 was truly a great start to 2020 for the family. Ivey and Thompson were hoping that after about 17 hours of labor, Kendra would arrive on the last day of 2019, but it become clear that the little girl had other plans.
Thompson said, “Once that didn’t come, you know we decided we might as well go for the new year baby.”
And that’s exactly what they got: A new year baby kicking of a year that will eventually take up a whole lot of space in our history books.
“It kind of changed our world for a little bit,” said Thompson while thinking about all that happened this year.
Looking back, the country saw a pandemic, shut downs, isolation, and a tumultuous election all crammed in to 365 days.
Despite all the ups and downs though, the family said it helped them focus on what’s important.
“It was nice to kind of get back to your family and having to prioritize things differently. It was interesting to see just who you were going to continue to see in-person in your life and where you fell in other people’s lives because of that,” Thompson said.
2020 also become the year being a “Girl Dad” got the kudos and credit it deserves.
“It’s awesome being a girl dad,” said Ivey.
The family said that Kendra is doing great and it’s been fun watching her hit various milestones.
“She loves it anytime music plays, she dances, and tries to sing along,” Thompson said, “She is just a very happy and sweet baby.”
However, Thompson can already see ways COVID-19 has impacted Kendra’s first year.
She said, “She’s a little bit more of a mommy and daddy’s girl, because of lack of company and everything this year. She isn’t as socialized, that’s one thing that I will say has impacted us with COVID. She is not as socialized as her sisters.”
While they’re not sure exactly what or how they’ll explain 2020 to their daughter, mom and dad are certain things would have been a lot tougher without her.
Ivey said, “She’s made our lives really really good, her and Madison, they just made it bundles of joy and we’re so happy and we are so proud.”
SEE MORE: Mercy Health welcomes first baby of 2021