Nolan Christopher Dreher’s parents tucked him into his car seat in the back of their Toyota Highlander and drove snowy roads from Steamboat Springs to their home in Oak Creek. Nolan, cozy in a white onesie with bears on it, was two days old and on his way to meet his brothers.
Lauren Dreher was hoping she had been careful enough, that the nurses and doctors and the woman who came in her hospital room to take out the trash were not infected with the virus.
“At the end of the day you have to know that you did everything you could do,” she said. “I’m just hoping that that’s enough. I was trying so hard not to touch my face. You’re in labor and you brush your hair out of your face and wipe your brow.”
What a weird time to bring a new human into the world, she thought. Will Nolan get a vaccine to protect him against the new coronavirus? What if social norms change so much that her third son never knows a world where people shake hands?
Dreher, who had a complicated second pregnancy, planned to give birth to Nolan in Denver with an at-risk pregnancy specialist. She changed her mind as she watched the number of COVID-19 cases climb in the city. Plus, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center isn’t nearly as busy.
“It was just kind of eerie how quiet it was,” Dreher said. Adding to that surreal feeling was the fact that “everyone you came into contact with was wearing a mask, from the security guard to the nurses and doctors.” Dreher’s delivery team wore N95 masks and face shields.
She was allowed one visitor: her husband, Christopher.
The Drehers are both furloughed. Lauren works for an orthodontist, and Christopher works at a French restaurant in Steamboat. They are trying to look at the bright side — more time with their new baby and sons Calvin, 6, and Landon, 4.
By late afternoon all were back in their warm home with a fresh blanket of snow outside, the first time together as a family of five.