Karl and Cara Frantz Supporting Baby Frantz

First post: Sep 13, 2021 Latest post: Oct 4, 2021
Hi everyone!

As many of you know, Caroline and Karl are expecting a child! :D We are so excited for them and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Baby Girl Frantz (BGF). Don’t worry – I’ve been hounding them to “choose a name already!” and will keep everyone updated as soon as my tactics coerce them into deciding.

Many of you also know that BGF has not been a typical pregnancy and will require extra care when she is born. To get everyone up to speed, BGF has a giant omphalocele, which is a rare condition affecting the abdominal wall. Because of this, her liver, stomach, and intestines are attached to her body in a thin, fragile sac. She will be delivered via C-section on October 1 and will immediately go into the NICU until she is developed and stable enough to come home. Eventually, she will need surgery to place all of her organs into her sweet little body -- a surgery we are fortunate enough to be somewhat familiar with due to our dad’s work as a pediatric surgeon. 

From that very brief overview, you can gather that Baby Girl Frantz, Cara, and Karl have a long road ahead of them in order to properly provide the accommodations and care that the baby needs. Karl and Cara have opted to not have a baby shower yet due to the unknowns that surround BGF, when she will be able to come home, and what special items she will need during her early phase of life. However, after spending time with Karl and Cara, talking to other parents of medically fragile babies, and researching online, I’ve pulled a few ideas of ways that we can support them. Near and far, emotionally and financially, throughout this pregnancy and new parenthood of a child with an omphalocele, let’s rally!

NOTE: On the items below that have a * next to them, you can access them via the links under "Ways to Help" at the top of this page.

Hand-written notes with words of love and encouragement (or digital Well Wishes, which can be found at the top of this page)
You all know Karl and Cara are sentimental, intimate people. They’re the best to spend time with because you get 100% of their attention. And they’d do anything for the people they love! Your supportive words would mean the world to them right now. 

Activities to keep them busy while they are hanging out in the NICU with sleepy Baby Girl Frantz
Cara recently mentioned that her and Karl were discussing watercoloring and painting again to pass the time in the NICU. Other ideas include books, games, crosswords, etc.

Gift Cards and Meal Trains*
Long days and nights await Karl and Cara, both at the NICU and at home away from BGF. We are unsure how long she will be kept from home, but it could be a few months. Parents of medically fragile babies mentioned that not having to worry about groceries, cooking, or cleaning was a major blessing that allowed them more time spent with their babies or a much-needed mental break. Ideas include gift cards to Whole Foods, Amazon, Target, UberEats, DoorDash, cleaning services, etc.

The hospital stays, NICU bills, special devices and accommodations, and future surgery/surgeries will not be 100% covered by insurance. The care BGF needs for the first undetermined bit of her life will be expensive, and we don’t want Karl and Cara stressing about that when they have a fragile little one who needs their love and attention. Thank you to all of those who contributed to the GoFundMe account and helped us surpass our goal!! Karl and Cara feel so humbled by your generosity. 

All cards and gifts can be sent to my address and I’ll ensure they get delivered to Karl and Cara. We live in the same apartment building (#blessed) and I’ll have much more time and mental capacity to be focusing on tracking down mail. If you do send something other than a typical piece of mail, please text me so I can be on the look-out for it in our mail room.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long email/post! Karl and Cara will be continuing to provide updates in the "Journal" section, so make sure to check it out. 

Address: text me for it!
Phone: 757-572-2209 (tel:757-572-2209)

Jenna Frantz (Karl’s sister and Cara’s sister-in-law)