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Lauren Dreher with her newborn, Nolan. (Provided by Lauren Dreher)

Nolan Christopher Dreher’s parents tucked him into his car seat in the back of their Toyota Highlander and drove down the lonely, 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 every day were not infected with the new coronavirus.

“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.”

She thought, too, what a weird time to bring a new human into the world.

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“It’s not like we could ever have imagined that this could be the current state of things,” Dreher said. 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 an attached placenta during her second pregnancy, a condition that could cause massive blood loss, had planned to have Nolan in Denver with an at-risk pregnancy specialist. She changed her mind as she watched the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus climb in the city.


The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

  • MAP: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
  • TESTINGHere’s where to find a community testing site. The state is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested.
  • VACCINE HOTLINE: Get up-to-date information.


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 and trying to look at the bright side — more time with their new baby and sons Calvin, 6, and Landon, 4. Lauren works for an orthodontist, and Christopher works at Harwigs, a French restaurant in Steamboat.

They were all together at home, warm, with a fresh blanket of snow, the first time as a family of five.

“It’s scary but at the same time, living where we live, we’re in our own slice of the mountains here,” Lauren said. “I know everything will be OK in the long run.”

This story is powered by COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative. The ColoradoSun joined this historic collaboration with more than 20 other newsrooms across Colorado to better serve the public.

To read more of The Colorado Sun’s coverage from this project, click here.

Jennifer Brown writes about mental health, the child welfare system, the disability community and homelessness for The Colorado Sun. As a former Montana 4-H kid, she also loves writing about agriculture and ranching. Brown previously...