Mariam Nabatanzi, a 40-year-old woman from Uganda’s Mukono District has been dubbed the African country’s most fertile woman after it was reported that she has given birth to 44 children.
In her home village of Kabimbiri, central Uganda, Mariam Nabatanzi is known as Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruplets) and that nickname is well-earned.
In the 18 years that she spent being pregnant throughout her 40 year life, the woman has given birth to six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruples, as well as a few single births.
Out of the 44 children that she brought into this world, 38 are still alive today, most of them still living at the family home. Mariam is a single mother, and although providing for such a large family, she somehow manages to put enough food on the table for everyone.
Mariam’s life has never been easy. At age 12, she was married off to a man 28 years her senior, after surviving an assassination attempt by her stepmother. She claims that the woman put crushed glass in the food and managed to kill her four siblings.
She only survived because she was away at the time, but her parents still managed to get rid of her, by marrying her off to a much older man who physically abused her whenever she said or did something he didn’t like.
“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,” Mariam told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper. “He was also violent and would beat me at any opportunity he got even when I suggested an idea that he didn’t like.”
Nabatanzi gave birth to her first children, a set of twins, in 1994, at the young age of 13. Two year later, she had her first set of triplets, and nearly two years after that, she birthed quadruplets.
While that may seem unusual to most people, Mariam didn’t find it strange at all, because she had seen it before. Her father had 45 children with several women, and she claims that they all came in sets of quintuplets, quadruples, twins and triplets.
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 genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples; it is always genetic.”
Mariam had always dreamed of having six children, but by her sixth pregnancy, she had already given birth to 18 babies, and she wanted to stop.
By age 23, Mariam already had 25 children, so she went to the hospital again, but she was told that nothing could be done, because her egg count was still very high.
Mariam Nabatanzi’s fertility woes finally came to an end in December of 2016, after the birth of her last baby, as she claims the doctor told her that he had “cut my uterus from inside”.