Carlos Morales wakes up every morning to his two two-month-old babies, Carlos Jr. and Tracy – and then rushes to the hospital to see his other two newborns, Erica and Paisley.
Although he is busy learning how to feed his quadruplets, bathe them and tend to their every need, he still can’t help but think of his late wife. Erica Morales, 36, died on Jan. 16, shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets. She never got the chance to see her babies or hold them in her arms.
“She should be here,” Carlos tells PEOPLE. “It’s slowly getting a little bit easier.”
Erica became pregnant with four babies through IVF but died after she went into hypovolemic shock, an emergency condition involving severe blood loss.
One of the things that Carlos finds comfort in is knowing that he doesn’t just have support from his family and friends, but also from more than 8,700 strangers who have donated to a GoFundMe page his friend created. In total, over $310,00 has been raised to date.
“To think that so many people are giving me whatever they can afford makes me smile,” he says. “Every single penny will help so I can give my babies a great life.”
Carlos, who works in manufacturing in Phoenix, Arizona, hopes he makes the right decisions for his and Erica’s children.
“I don’t want to mess up. Erica always wanted children and so did I,” he says. “These four babies were a blessing so I will make it work. I have to.”
His mother-in-law watches over Carlos Jr. and Tracy at home while he goes to the hospital to see Erica and Paisley, who will be going home any day now.
All four were born around three pounds, but they’re slowly growing and have now made it past the five-pound mark.
The four cribs at Carlos’s house are all lined up next to each other in the bedroom right next to his. As the newborns grow stronger each day, so does their dad.
“I can’t wait for us all to be together,” he says. “Seeing their tiny smiling faces gives me courage.”
At the same time though, he sees his late wife Erica when he looks at them.
“She gives me strength he says,” he says. “Even when I feel lost.”