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Twin Ports welcomes its Baby New Year

Susanna Schafter and Nathan Dreier of Superior snuggle little Charles Everett Dreier at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center Monday afternoon. Charles was the first baby born in Duluth in the new year. Bob King /

The Twin Ports' Baby New Year came into the world early Monday, bringing with him contrast to both the year left behind and the cold outside his window.

A world that seemed to wail its way through 2017 saw Charles Everett Dreier ride in on the crest of 2018 at 2:13 a.m. as quiet and peaceful as could be — cooing to music and crying only when he'd been pricked by a needle, his parents said.

And unlike the freezing air outside his fifth-floor Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center suite, Charlie came in as fuzzy as a peach plucked from near the equator.

"He's like that all over his body — not just his head, but all over his back too," said his mother Susanna Schafter. "He looks like a little fuzzy ball."

Charlie is the first child together for Schafter and Nathan Dreier and the first son to the blended family which already features four girls — Abigail, 8, Maddison, 6, Sophia, 6, and Olivia, 2.

"My first boy," Nathan said, "I had to get him some camo," referring to a blue-toned camoflauge onesie.

The couple liked the name because now all of the kids can have a nickname ending in "-ie."

Also, "I like the more studious names," Schafter said of Charles. "Everett is his dad's middle name."

The delivery was a speedy one, Schafter said, though "toward the end it was really intense."

Charlie was born 6 pounds, 15 ounces. Nathan said he was eager to have a boy who might play football or enjoy ice fishing.

"Not that the girls can't play sports too," he added.

Nathan, 31, and Schafter, 27, met after he'd hired her to clean his house, they said. He works in construction, and she is a self-described homemaker.

"Now I clean his home for free," Schafter said with a smirk.

Schafter's mother, Colleen Winkler, also of Superior, was in the room while the media's cameras paraded through one after another.

"He's going to be the center of attention for quite a while," Winkler said. "We've got a large family. He's not going to lack for attention."

Even at less than half a day old, Charlie was already keen to the world — responding when his mother hit play on her Pandora playlist.

"He opens up and turns to figure out where the music is coming from," Schafter said. "I think he likes it."

At nearby St. Luke's hospital, the first baby arrived at 8:45 a.m. His name was Brantley Boatman (6 pounds, 10.1 ounces) and he arrived to parents Kara Bunnell and Daniel Boatman of Superior.

By midafternoon on the first day of the year, the baby business was booming in Duluth. St. Mary's was at five births and counting.

"A sixth," said hospital spokeswoman Maureen Talarico, "is on the way."