Joyful start to 2021: Grand Rapids parents cuddle new babies


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Following the darkness that fell upon millions of Americans in 2020, the first faces of the new year are lighting the way for a fresh start in 2021.

“It’s a good way to get it started, that’s for sure,” Brooke Normandin said.

She delivered her son Henry at 12:32 a.m. Friday at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, making him the first baby born in Grand Rapids in the new year.

“He was here within three hours,” Normandin said. “It was very, very quick; he was ready.”

As Henry’s dad cradled him, Normandin said Henry has an older brother to look out for him.

“(My elder son) loves babies, so it’s going to be a ton of fun to kind of see that bond grow,” Normandin said.

Just down the road at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, father Abdalla Abdi welcomed Sumayah Murjaan, making him a girl dad for the second time.

“Whatever she wants to do, whatever her heart desires, I’ll support that in any way I can, me and her mama,” Abdi said.

Abdi’s newest daughter was born to him and mother Brianna Rincones at 12:57 a.m. New Year’s Day. A spokesperson for Spectrum confirmed to News 8 she was the second baby to be born in Grand Rapids this year.

“It’s very, very exciting, man,” Abdi said. “I’m happy; perfect timing.”

As both parents wait to bring life’s most precious gifts home, they prepare to begin a new year — one that’s already starting the right way.

“It’s a very good way to start the year,” Normandin said.

Rowyn Weimer, the first baby born at Bronson BirthPlace in Kalamazoo in 2021. (Courtesy Bronson Healthcare)

In Kalamazoo, Bronson BirthPlace’s first baby of 2021 was Rowyn Weimer, who came into the world 14 minutes after midnight at 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

According to a release from the hospital, her parents Celeste and Blake Weimer of Texas Township said they were “super excited” to welcome their sixth child and first daughter.

The first baby at Bronson BirthPlace in Battle Creek was born at 1:27 a.m. The hospital did not release that child’s name.

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