Mariam Nabatanzi, a 38-year-old woman from Mukono District, Uganda, has been dubbed the most fertile woman in the country after giving birth to 44 children.
In her home village of Kabimbiri, in central Uganda, Mariam Nabatanzi is better known as Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother who gives birth to quadruplets) and she deserves this nickname. During her pregnancy years, the woman gave birth to six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruplets, as well as a few unique births.
Of the 44 children she gave birth, 38 are still alive today, most of them still living in the family home. Mariam is a single mother, and although she supports a large family, she somehow manages to put enough food on the table for everyone.
Mariam’s life has never been easy. At 12, she was married to a man who was 28 years older than her.
“My husband was polygamous with many children from past relationships that I had to deal with because their mothers were scattered all over the place,” Mariam told Uganda’s Daily Monitor. “He was so violent and beat me whenever he had the opportunity, even when I suggested an idea he did not like. “
Nabatanzi gave birth to his first children, twins, in 1994, at the age of 13. Two years later, she had her first triplets, and almost two years later, she gave birth to quadruplets. Although it may seem unusual to most people, Mariam did not find it strange at all, as she had seen it before. His father had 45 children with several women.
Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, told the Daily Monitor that the cause of Mariam’s extreme fertility is most likely genetic: “Her case is a genetic predisposition to hyperovulation (the release of several eggs in one cycle), which greatly increases the chances of multiple pregnancies; she is still genetic. “
Mariam had always dreamed of having six children, but by her sixth pregnancy, she had already given birth to 18 children, and she wanted to stop. She went to the hospital for help, but after doing some tests, the gynecologist told her that interfering with her fertility in any way could put her life at risk.
“I was advised to continue to reproduce. I tried to use the inter-uterine device (IUD), but I got sick and vomited a lot, almost to the point of death. I was in a coma for a month, “recalls Mariam.
At the age of 23, Mariam already had 25 children, so she went back to the hospital, but was told that nothing could be done because her egg count was still very high. However, Dr. Kiggundu says there are procedures that can be applied to prevent women from becoming pregnant, but adds that many of them simply do not know them.
It’s hard to imagine a mother raising 38 children alone, but Mariam did. Her husband is almost never there, and every time he gets home, he sneaks into the night and leaves before the children have a chance to see him. Charles, 23, the eldest son of the woman, told The Daily Monitor that he saw his father for the last time when he was only 13 years old, and that some of his siblings did not even have him. never seen.
“I can tell you that some of my brothers and sisters do not know what our father looks like. I saw it for the last time when I was 13 and only briefly in the night, “says Charles.
Mariam’s husband only comes home about once a year, and when he comes home, he is always drunk and violent. He does not provide for the needs of the family at all, so that burden only weighs on him.
In order to take care of her family, Mariam Nabatanzi does everything that is offered to her as a job. She administers local herbs for various diseases – which she says she has done since she was a girl, but she also deals with occasional tasks like braiding hair and styling brides. She does everything she can to feed her children.
“I buy 10 kg of cornmeal a day, four kilograms of sugar a day and three pieces of soap. I need at least 100,000 shillings a day to support my family but God is good because they have never had a day without a meal, “says Mariam.