A 40-year-old Ugandan woman is being hailed as the East African country’s most fertile woman.
Mariam Nabatanzi from Uganda’s Mukono District is said to have given birth to 44 children.
Married at age 12, Mariam spent 18 years of her life upholding to the Bible Verse Genesis 9:7, which reads—”As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
Nicknamed ‘Nalongo Muzaala Bana’ to wit, “the twin mother that produces quadruplets”, Mariam is reported to have given birth to six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruplets, including a few single births.
Thirty-eight children are said to be alive out of the 44. Most of them are living with her at their family house, sde.co.ke reported. Ten are girls and the rest, boys. The oldest is said to be around 25 years old while the youngest is around two years.
Early marriage and the journey to motherhood
Mariam was married off at age 12 to a 40-year-old man in 1993 after escaping an attempt on her life by her stepmother.
“I did not know I was being married off,” she recollected in an interview. “People came home and brought things for my father. When the time came for them to leave, I thought I was escorting my aunt but when I got there, she gave me away to the man.”
Speaking to Daily Monitor, Mariam recounted being beaten almost every day by her husband. Married into a polygamous family, she would have to always take care of her co-wives’ children whenever they weren’t there.
“My husband was polygamous with many children from his past relationships who I had to take care of because their mothers were scattered all over. He was also violent and would beat me at any opportunity he got even when I suggested an idea that he didn’t like,” she said.
In 1994, Mariam began the journey to motherhood with a set of twins. She followed up with triplets two years later, then a set of quadruplets a year and seven months later. Surprisingly, she didn’t find the rate at which she was procreating strange because it’s genetic.
“My father gave birth to 45 children with different women and these all came in quintuplets, quadruples, twins and triplets,” she said.
Taking over her father very possible
Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist, told Daily Monitor the possibility of Mariam taking over her father was high.
“Her case is a genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples; it is always genetic,” he explained.
Mariam had had enough by her sixth delivery; she approached a doctor, but he told her she couldn’t stop giving birth because she had high ovary count.
The doctor warned that trying to stop her from having a child would eventually lead to her early death.
“I was advised to keep producing since putting this on hold would mean death. I tried using the Inter Uterine Device (IUD) but I got sick and vomited a lot, to the point of near-death. I went into a coma for a month,” she said.
At age 23, she was with 25 children but she was still advised to continue “producing since the ovary count was still high.”
“She must have been super ovulating, releasing many eggs in a cycle,” Kiggundu said.
Mariam underwent tubal litigation at the birth of her two-year-old child, who was delivered by C-section, ending her woes.
“With tubal ligation, the tubes are blocked, a permanent method of contraception in women, but they would continue having their menses,” Kiggundu explained.