Erica Morales didn’t get a chance to give her quadruplets names or even hold them before she tragically passed away. And while Carlos Morales misses his wife dearly, the four beautiful blessings God gave him gives him the strength to keep going.
When Carlos Morales first met Erica in 2006, he didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak Spanish. Yet, they fell in love.
The two learned how to speak each other’s respective languages, and were married by 2007.
The pair also dreamed of starting a family. But it proved more challenging than they’d expected.
After suffering the heartbreak of a miscarriage, the couple found out in 2014 that Erica was pregnant after IVF treatment.
"We couldn't have been more excited to finally have a baby," Carlos said.
But the couple wasn’t having just one baby. They soon discovered Erica was pregnant with quadruplets!
Choosing Quadruplets’ Names
Things were going well with the pregnancy until it hit 7 months. Doctors admitted Erica to the hospital for high blood pressure and decided to deliver the quadruplets via c-section.
"The doctor said she was having too many contractions so it was time to deliver the babies," Carlos says.
Erica was surrounded by loved ones beforehand. She and Carlos excitedly chose 3 of the quadruplets’ names — Carlos Jr. for the boy and Tracey and Paisley for 2 of the girls. But they weren’t sure what to name their third daughter.
"We can decide after she's born," Carlos recalls telling his wife.
Doctors delivered all 4 babies without complications. Each was healthy and ranged from 2 to 3 pounds in weight.
"Seeing Erica and the babies healthy is all I could think about,” Carlos said. “I was just so excited for our future."
But then things took a tragic turn.
Mother Passes Before Quadruplets Names Are Fully Decided
Erica was still coming out of an anesthesia-induced sleep with Carlos by her side and the quadruplets in the nursery.
Suddenly, beeps and alarms started going off on the medical equipment. Erica had gone into hypovolemic shock. It’s an urgent condition where someone experiences a severe amount of blood loss.
An hour later, before getting the chance to hold her babies or even finish choosing the quadruplets’ names, Erica was gone.
"How could this have happened?" Carlos still asks. "She was fine, and then she wasn’t. She was alive and then she was just gone."
It’s an answer we’ll never have this side of Heaven. And though we can’t understand why Erica’s life was cut short, God blessed Carlos with 4 beautiful reasons to not give up hope.
Carlos says he couldn’t even speak when he realized his beloved wife was gone. The tragedy was just so overwhelming.
“She wasn’t able to see a picture of our babies or hold them in her arms before she died,” he said.
He feared he wouldn’t be able to survive.
But he did. And months later, he knew why.
“I understand why I am still here,” he said. “My babies are four beautiful blessings.”
After Erica’s passing, Carlos soon realized they’d only chosen 3 of the quadruplets’ names. He decided to name the remaining baby girl Erica, after her late mother.
Community Rallies Around Grieving Dad
The loss of Erica Morales was devastating for her husband. But in addition to his quadruplets, others poured out love and support, being the hands and feet of Christ to Carlos during the difficult days ahead.
After Erica’s death, her mom, Sondra Bridges, moved in with Carlos to give him a hand with the babies.
"She's such a protective and loving grandmother,” Carlos said. “It's a real team effort.”
One of Erica’s friends set up a GoFundMe page and succeeded in raising nearly $500,000 to help Carlos and the quadruplets.
And when Carlos Morales’ story made it to Christian celebrity Steve Harvey, the popular TV personality surprised the devoted dad with some gifts, including a $10,000 savings account per child for college from Sallie Mae.
WATCH: Steve Harvey Helps Widower Raising Quadruplets Alone
Seeing each one of the quadruplets’ names on the $10,000 checks was a powerful moment for the dad.
"When Steve Harvey told me that, I couldn't believe it," Carlos recalled. "Everything I do is for my children and their future. Education is so important. I worry about money and this just made me feel so relieved."
The Morales quadruplets are growing quickly and have started preschool. Carlos keeps everyone updated via the Erica Morales Memorial Page on Facebook.
And while raising quadruplets as a single dad certainly keeps him busy, Carlos always has his late wife on his mind.
"This wasn't the plan. Erica was supposed to be here. I still come home after work and look at pictures of us together. I go to her Facebook and I look through our text messages," he says.
And while he’ll always miss Erica, it’s her memory and the blessing of his 4 beautiful children that inspires Carlos each day to never give up.
"We planned for years to enjoy this together," he says. "I'm a great father because of her. I can't let Erica down."
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Instead of getting caught up in what he’s lost, Carlos Morales spends each day focusing on the blessings he’s been given.
"I enjoy every moment with my babies because life is short," he says.