Welcoming a child to the world is a truly life-changing experience, and one that’s difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it themselves.

I think we all have beautiful expectations of what having a baby will be like – but it’s difficult to fully imagine what will happen and how life will forever change as soon as you hold that precious baby in your arms.

Unfortunately, all these expectations and future plans can turn into tragedy in a matter of seconds.

Carlos Morales knows this better than most.

When Carlos and his wife Erica Morales first met at a nightclub in Scottsdale, Arizona, they felt an instant connection.

They didn’t know it then – but Carlos and Erica would soon embark on a beautiful love story. When they first met, Carlos and Erica were quite different. There was a massive barrier between them: Carlos didn’t speak English, and Erica couldn’t speak Spanish, making it hard to communicate.

But that night at the club in Scottsdale, Carlos decided to take a chance and asked Erica if she wanted to dance. She said yes, and the young couple danced all night. When the morning came, Carlos wrote his phone number on a bit of paper and gave it to Erica.

Unfortunately, Erica lost the note, and the couple never met again. Their love saga could have ended there, but fate decided otherwise.

By chance, the couple met again through some mutual friends. This time Carlos didn’t let go of Erica, and they started dating. One thing led to another, and in 2007, Carlos and Erica tied the knot in Las Vegas. Carlos had learned English by then, and Erica could now speak Spanish.

Soon, the couple began to discuss whether they should build a family. Both Carlos and Erica agreed that they wanted to expand the family and have children – but it would prove to be more challenging than expected.

Erica sadly suffered a miscarriage, and the couple decided to try again. With the help of IVF treatment, Erica managed to fall pregnant again, and the couple were, of course, thrilled.

When they went for an ultrasound, doctors revealed the next surprise. Erica was expecting quadruplets – something that only occurs once in every 700,000 pregnancies! After the initial shock, Erica and Carlos realized that they were facing the greatest challenge of their lives. Yet, at the same time, the couple was also delighted, and looked forward to welcoming four babies into the family.

“We were so excited to start our family,” Carlos told People.

It was a lot of work for Erica to carry around three girls and a boy in her stomach, but Carlos literally did everything to prevent Erica from getting stressed and too exhausted.

He took care of the household during the pregnancy; Carlos cleaned, did all the chores, cooked meals, and ensured there was food in the fridge.

Still, the pregnancy was very stressful for Erica and her body. On January 12, 2015, she was taken to hospital because of high blood pressure. Three days later, she informed her husband that things had changed. The doctors were preparing to deliver the quadruplets as soon as possible.

Carlos, who was at work when he received Erica’s text message, went straight to the hospital. There, doctors explained that Erica was having many contractions, and needed to give birth immediately. However, Erica and Carlos managed to get some time together before the big event; they took some pictures together and exchanged a few words before it was time.

According to Carlos, they also decided on some names – the boy would be named Carlos Jr., and two of the girls would be named Tracey and Paisley.

Before Erica was rolled into the operating room for the C-section, Carlos kissed his wife on the forehead and explained that he loved her.

”Let’s get these babies out,” he said.

On January 15, Erica gave birth to four precious and healthy children. Everything had gone according to plan.

Or so they all thought.

Unfortunately, tragedy would soon strike with full force.

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.

Though dealing with the devastating loss of his wife, Carlos and his quadruplets pulled through. Although he mourned Erica every second, there was one thing that made him wake up every day: his children.

Friends and family supported him as he cared for his beautiful quadruplets, Carlos Jr., Tracey, Paisley, and Erica.

Carlos told People:

“These babies don’t know yet what blessings they have given me. They have given me four reasons to live.”

Since the quadruplets were born quite early, two of them needed to stay in hospital for a little longer. Two of the babies, though, could go home with Carlos the same day. All told, their two siblings needed to be monitored at the hospital for almost a month.

It goes without saying that Carlos faced many challenges as a single father with four newborns. But despite all the pain and trauma, he was determined to give his children the best upbringing possible.

He took baby courses, learned CPR, and managed to bathe them together. He fed them and put up all the routines and sleeping schedules.

Thankfully, he also had great support from his loved ones. A friend set up a fundraiser to support Carlos financially. The new dad receiving the support of strangers through a GoFundMe page that Erica’s best friend, Nicole Todman, set up.

Raised $486,000

“The expense of raising 4 children alone is quite daunting for any middle class family now the with the loss of Erica’s income her husband will need all the help he can get,” Todman writes. Since the page was posted, donations have reached more than $486,000 toward the $500,000 goal.

”It’s funny how things turn out. Bittersweet, but at the same time, thanks to God, and the outpouring support of the public, it’s been phenomenal. And I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of you. All the support we’ve gotten from you, we appreciate it,” Carlos’s mother, Sondra Bridges, said.

Today, Carlos is doing everything in his power to fulfill his wife’s wishes, and he knows that Erica is looking down from heaven and is very proud of her children. We think so, too; they seem to be great kids, and they have a fantastic dad who will never let them down.