It was supposed to be the happiest moment of their lives. Carlos Morales kissed his wife Erica and told her he loved her just minutes before she delivered their quadruplets. Tragically, it would be the last time he would ever see her alive.
Pregnant with four babies conceived through IVF, Erica, 36, went into labor at seven months. Doctors prepared to deliver the babies by C-section.
“We were so excited to start our family,” Carlos, 29, who works in manufacturing in Phoenix, Arizona, says. “And then it all came crashing down.”
All four babies – three girls, one boy – were safely delivered. But Erica died hours after giving birth to the couple’s quadruplets. She died after going into hypovolemic shock — which involves massive blood loss — after her C-section. The babies, three girls and one boy, are named Paisley, Tracy, Erica and Carlos Jr.
Carlos and Erica met at a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2006 and in 2007 they got married in Las Vegas.
“We also really wanted to have a baby,” says Carlos. “So we started to try right away.”
After experiencing a miscarriage, which Carlos said was “terrible”, a few months later they discovered Erica was pregnant.
“We couldn’t have been more excited to finally have a baby,” he says. “Erica was taking such good care of herself.”
She learned she was having four babies when she had her first sonogram, not just one. Doctors kept a tight eye on Erica, who was in good health the entire time.
In the 7th month of pregnancy, Erica had high blood pressure and had many contractions. “The doctor said she was having too many contractions so it was time to deliver the babies,” Carlos says. “We took pictures before she went into the delivery room, made some videos, and she was surrounded by family and friends. I said to her, ‘Let’s get these babies out.’ ”
When the infants were born, there were about 24 people in the delivery room, including doctors, nurses, family members, and friends. Each was between two and three pounds. It was the chance of a lifetime for Carlos.
After delivering all four babies, Erica went into hypovolemic shock. Still under anesthesia, she lost a massive amount of blood. Carlos sat next to his wife after the delivery and felt how she squeezed his hand.
When alarm signals suddenly started sounding off, hospital staff rushed into the room and asked Carlos to leave. He would never see his wife alive again. Erica died within hours; the 36-year-old mother never even got the chance to hold her newborn babies in her arms.
”How could this have happened? She was fine, and then she wasn’t. She was alive and then she was just gone. I went from having the best day of my life to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life. My four babies came into the world and then my wife died,” Carlos said.
He still asks himself every day if there is something he could have done to keep his wife alive.
“I went from having the best day of my life to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life,” Carlos says. “My four babies came into the world and then my wife died.”
Carlos continues to grieve for Erica every waking minute. She lives in his dreams. The one thing that keeps him going: The babies.
“I’m learning everything from how to give them a bath, CPR, feeding, and how to manage their sleep schedule,” he says. “I need to be prepared.”
“Everything I do now is for my children,” Carlos, who will return to work. Our family and friends have been very supportive too.”
“These babies don’t know yet what blessings they have given me. They have given me four reasons to live.”
Two of the quadruplets had to stay in the hospital a bit longer because they were delivered pretty early. However, Carlos could take two of the infants home that day. All told, their two siblings needed to be monitored at the hospital for almost a month.