A Texas woman, who was already a mother to ten sons with her husband, fervently prayed for the blessing of a baby girl. Her heartfelt wish was granted, and she eventually welcomed her first daughter into the world. Little did she know what fate had in store for her.
The arrival of a new baby is exciting — newborns represent life, hope, and the promise of love. It is the moment much awaited by parents and especially by the family. This is because it is a new life, taking months to conceive with love, care, and patience.
The moment a child is born, the mother immediately forgets the pain of pregnancy and childbirth and clings to her newborn. This feeling is even more unexplainable when a child arrives after much waiting and anticipation.
An example is that of a mother who welcomed a series of boys before she finally welcomed a baby girl after waiting so long. Sonya Harlow and her husband of eight years, Spencer Harlow, celebrated the arrival of their long-anticipated daughter. Unfortunately, a few days after the baby’s birth, the family’s joy was overshadowed by a heart-wrenching event. Here are the details of the emotional story.
Inside Sonya’s Life and Pregnancy Journey
Sonya had prayed to have a baby girl for the longest time. She and her husband, Spencer, a U.S. Army veteran, had ten boys, some together and some from their previous relationships.
She is frequently captured enjoying time with her older siblings, charming her family in the numerous photos shared by her father online.
A few years into her marriage to Spencer, Sonya became pregnant. This time, she was expecting a girl and could not be happier. Like many pregnancies, hers came with health complications such as high blood pressure.
In addition, Sonya had other health issues that stopped her from working in the healthcare industry as an admissions director. She endured all of these until she finally welcomed her beautiful first daughter on November 5, 2020.
Indeed, it was a surreal moment for the proud mom and her husband. Not long after the baby’s birth, Sonya and Spencer came up with the perfect name for their daughter. The doting dad expressed:
“[Sonya] had all boys before this, and she prayed for a girl. We named our daughter Eliyanah, and she is God’s answer to our prayers. Eliyanah means ‘God has answered.’”
An Unspeakable Tragedy
Unfortunately, on November 16, 11 days after Eliyanah’s birth, Sonya, 39, passed away. Recalling the circumstances surrounding her death, Spencer made it known that around 2 a.m., he woke up and heard his wife making sounds of distress.
“I rolled over and could see she was dying. We did CPR on her until the paramedics arrived, but she had flatlined by then. It was too late,” Spencer explained.
It was a devastating moment for the husband, who was left to cater to the boys and Eliyanah. Spencer described Sonya as a good wife and the prettiest woman he had ever met. In his words:
“Sonya was such a good woman and wife. She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. She was so vibrant and full of life. She was loving, kind, and caring.”
Spencer was only one out of the many people affected by Sonya’s death. Nancy Leger Davie, the deceased’s best friend of 17 years, was also taken aback by her friend’s death. “I don’t know how I’m going to live my life without her. She’s been a huge part of my life,” Davie said.
Supporting the Devastated Family
Following Sonya’s death, Spencer revealed that there was no life insurance or money set aside for her funeral, as her demise was unexpected. So Sonya’s friend, Davie, set up a GoFundMe page with a $10,000 goal to assist the Harlow family.
“Having not been able to work for several months before giving birth, her husband has been supporting all [10 kids] on his income alone,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“Since this was so unexpected, there’s no life insurance or money set aside. Any money raised will be used towards funeral expenses/headstone. And if there’s anything left over, it will be used to care for her children,” she continued.
Thankfully, well-meaning individuals donated, and Davie ended up raising $46,603. Sonya’s funeral was held on November 24, 2020, at the Greater Faith Apostolic Church in Dayton.
All Grown Up
Three years after Sonya’s death, the Harlow kids continue to thrive and cherish their beloved mom’s memory. Spencer often shares pictures of his children on social media, demonstrating his steadfast love and support for them.
The couple’s little girl, Eliyanah, marked her third birthday on November 5, 2023, and seems to have taken after her late mother, captivating the world with her innocence and beauty. She is frequently captured enjoying time with her older siblings, charming her family in the numerous photos shared by her father online.
We hope and pray that the Harlows get to celebrate many more joyous and memorable moments. Click here to read another story about a groom who waited at the altar for his delayed bride, unaware she would leave him a newborn daughter.