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Miracle Baby Overcomes Being Born with Intestines Outside of Her Body

A tiny baby was born with a heart-wrenching complication that arose when her mother went into premature labor on March 10, 2017, at 33 weeks and 3 days. Baby Cedar was born with her intestines outside of her body.

Her mother Maren explained on Imgur, "My daughter was born with gastroschisis, meaning her intestines were outside of her body. She came on March 11 at 1:08 am. She was 4 pounds 12 ounces and 15 inches long." Little Cedar arrived in the world after her mother had been in labor for four days with 29 hours of active labor.

Baby born with intestines outside her body. Image courtesy of Maren

Cedar was in the NICU for four weeks. This is "unheard of for babies in her position," Marin said. "They try to keep premature babies to their actual due date (hers was April 26), but she came home April 9."

Her intestines actually went in on their own after six days. Here's what she looked like after an operation to stitch up her hole:

Image courtesy of Maren

"First time I got to hold her, she was 2 weeks old," Maren wrote:

Image courtesy of Maren

Cedar came home from the hospital on oxygen and an apnea monitor. She was able to get off oxygen in June, though she's still on her apnea monitor. Here she is on her first day home:

Image courtesy of Maren

Cedar is now six months old and weighs almost 14 pounds. "Words cannot describe how hard this journey has been, but the fact that she keeps surprising her doctors with her progress keeps me going," her mom wrote. "She's defied all odds against her, it's absolutely amazing." Maren added that Cedar is "still going to have stomach problems and digestive problems for the rest of her life, but it shouldn't be serious." Here's the miracle baby today:

Image courtesy of Maren

How did this happen, and what exactly is the birth defect known as “Gastroschisis"?

According to the CDC, Gastroschisis occurs when a baby’s abdominal walls don’t form properly, which may allow intestines, the stomach, and other organs to be found outside of the body. Gastroschisis effects about 1,871 newborns in the United States each year, and although we don’t know what exactly causes this condition, it has been observed that teenage mothers may have a higher chance of having a baby with gastroschisis than older mothers.

Cedar went through the standard medical procedure of repairing the hole in her abdomen, which started by carefully placing her intestines inside of a special membrane some refer to as a “silo,” as the organs were slowly moved back inside her body, and then the hole was stitched up before too long. Although Cedar’s surgery was a success, she is likely to experience permanent issues with eating and digesting food.