Erica Morales had always dreamed of being a mother, her friends say, but she died before she could even hold the quadruplets she gave birth to on Thursday night. The 36-year-old had been admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure Tuesday and died in intensive care soon after the four babies were delivered by C-section. She had been about seven months into her pregnancy, and family members say the quadruplets—girls Paisley, Tracey, and Erica, and boy Carlos—are doing well in the hospital, where they will probably remain for the next two months, CBS reports. They weigh between 2 and 3 pounds each.
Christina and Nicole Todman, Morales' cousins and best friends, tell the AP that Morales and her husband, Carlos, had been trying to conceive for two years, and after an earlier miscarriage, she had focused on doing "everything to make sure they were healthy so she was able to bring them into this world—and she did." "We are here to be a mother figure for these children because they are never going to meet their biological mother," Christina tells KPHO. Family members say there were complications before Morales was taken into surgery, but it's not yet clear what went wrong. (Read more quadruplets stories.)