Gastroschisis: Baby to be born with bowel and intestines outside body

Kristella’s baby girl is going to face a fight the minute she’s born, but the kindness of strangers is helping the mum come to terms with her daughter’s rare condition.


Most mothers have a wish for their unborn children, you might wish for them to be successful, or to get their father’s nose or their mother’s eyes. Kristella Marios, a 27-year-old mother from Melbourne only has one wish. She just wants to take her baby girl home from the hospital.

A rare condition

Kristella’s first pregnancy with her son, Izaak, now eight, was pretty unremarkable, and there was no reason for her to expect that this pregnancy would be any different. But when she and her partner, William, went for the 12-week scan they were told that something wasn’t right.

It was a long week of waiting before they were given a clear answer about what exactly was going on with their baby.

“We were told she had a condition called gastroschisis,” Kristella told Kidspot. “It’s a birth defect of the abdominal wall which means her organs are growing outside of her body through a hole next her belly button.

Uncertain outcomes

Kristella’s little girl, Ava, is on the severe end of the condition which means that more of her organs continue to hang out of her body. Hours after Ava is born via a caesarean she will have to be rushed into surgery.

Kristella is now 28 weeks along and hopes to reach 36 weeks before baby Ava is delivered, but it may not be possible due to her tiny bub’s restricted growth. Despite all the uncertainty, Kristella is remaining hopeful and putting her faith into her little girl. She has set up the nursery and started decorating.

“I know she’s going to be a miracle, that’s all I know for sure,” Kristella said.

“I have to have hope, and when I feel like I might break down, strangers come up to me after hearing our story and tell me they’re lighting a candle for us, or praying for us, and it just gives us strength to go on.”

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