Ariana knew something was wrong when she could not feel the baby kicking

April 03, 2014

Ariana West was having a perfectly normal pregnancy, and she and her husband, Kevin, had just started birthing classes to prepare for the delivery of their first child at Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

But 31 weeks into her pregnancy, Ariana knew something was wrong when she couldn’t feel the baby kicking. The doctors at Providence Tarzana Medical Center examined Ariana and decided the Wests’ baby needed to be delivered right away.

“They thought it would be better to treat him outside of Ariana’s body, so our son, Shai, was born weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce,” Kevin says. “They had given Ariana two shots of steroids, which was very helpful because Shai came out breathing on his own, which is pretty big for a baby that small.”

Shai was immediately placed in Providence Tarzana’s 21-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He stayed there for 55 days, while the staff worked around the clock to take care of all of his needs—and those of his parents.

Today, Shai is a happy, healthy baby, who is growing and developing nicely. The Wests are so grateful for the care their child received that they are working with the Providence Tarzana Foundation to establish a nonprofit organization to provide support for parents with infants in the NICU.

“The nonprofit organization that the Wests are establishing will be an excellent resource for parents because they can connect with families that already have gone through the experience,” said Tamera Martin, manager of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. And, from the Wests’ perspective, creating the organization is truly a labor of love. “Providence Tarzana NICU staff became like part of our family, and we’re always going to have a connection with them,” Ariana says.