The fall of 2021 was a busy time for the Chapman family. Busy mom, Caroline had been helping her sister with wedding preparations followed by watching her nieces and nephews while their parents were on a trip. When she finally had time to catch her breath, she noticed she hadn’t felt the typical, normal baby movements. Out of an abundance of caution, Caroline talked with her husband Tyler and made the decision to go to the hospital to have the baby’s vitals checked.


After closely monitoring the baby’s heartbeats and movements, the medical team determined that Caroline would need to deliver her baby Vivian, then only 33 weeks gestation. Caroline and Tyler were anxious and concerned with their daughter’s outcome being delivered so early. After her premature birth, Vivian was admitted to the NICU for care and to monitor feeding and growth progress.

While at the NICU, the Chapman Family was referred to the Southwest Human Development’s Smooth Way Home program which would help the family transition Vivian home once she was ready to leave the NICU. Having a baby in the NICU was stressful and induced anxiety with the unknowns in premature babies development and progression. The family leaned on the support staff at Smooth Way Home for reassurance that Vivian was developing as she should.

After 19 days in the NICU, Vivian was finally able to come home from the NICU. Although her family was excited for her to be home, Caroline had some immediate concerns about Vivian’s feeding and breathing her first night home. At Vivian’s follow up appointment with her pediatrician the next day, the doctor examined her and assured Caroline that everything looked fine. Caroline couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. Once again that evening, Caroline took Vivian to the Emergency Room where she was struggling to breathe. Vivian was immediately admitted to the PICU and diagnosed with RSV. Caroline was anxious and concerned to have such a tiny, sick baby. It was a hard time for the family with many unknowns and concerns. Vivian was finally able to come home on oxygen 10 days later.


Throughout this challenging time, Smooth Way Home staff continued to support Caroline with counseling sessions, resources for a new pediatrician, and eventually physical therapies for Vivian.


Vivian is now one and thriving. She is a fighter! Caroline credits the Smooth Way Home staff for their support and direction in helping build a strong foundation for her and her family and being there to help educate and encourage along the way. They have been invaluable! “In a world where I didn’t know how to survive, they helped guide me, reassure me, and provide the resources we needed,” Caroline said.