When you hear the words ” big family », How many children do you imagine? Fire? Eight? Ten? Well, for Mariam Nabatanzi is roughly equivalent to 44 children. You are reading right. She had not planned to have as many children, but she suffers from a rare condition that has required her to have multiple sets of multiple babies. Here is his story.
A woman with a rare disease had 44 children
The life of Mariam Nabatanzi is a sadly tragic story. Born in Uganda, just three days after her birth, her mother left the family. When she was still quite young, her stepmother mixed shards of glass in her siblings’ food and killed them all. Mariam was only spared because at that time she had gone to visit a relative.
When Mariam was 12, her parents sold her into marriage. A year later, she gave birth to a pair of twins. She went on to have three more sets of twins, five sets of triplets and five sets of quadruplets. In all, she had 44 children – of which only one was a single birth. Her husband, who spent a lot of time outdoors, also left the family. He fled with all their savings.
But you may be wondering how it is possible for a woman to have had so many children. Keep in mind that each one was designed completely naturally – no IVF or other medical procedures took place. This is because Mariam suffers from a rare disease called hyper ovulation .
What is hyperovulation?
Hyperovulation occurs when the ovaries release more than one egg at a time, and of course, each egg is fertilized. In Mariam’s case, she is genetically predisposed to it. Her doctors told her it was because she had abnormally large ovaries.
“Her case is a genetic predisposition to hyper ovulation – the release of multiple eggs in a cycle – which greatly increases the chances of having multiple births at the same time.” explained Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist at Mulago Hospital in Kampala.
Mariam says her doctors told her that if she stopped giving birth, she could actually have medical problems. As a 23-year-old, she already had 25 children. She said she asked the doctors to do something to prevent her from getting more. Again, the doctors told her that her ovary was too high so she had to keep getting pregnant.
It is also known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and can be dangerous to the health of a woman without pregnancy. There are treatments for this, but these are generally not available in Uganda. This can cause life-threatening blood clots, kidney failure, ovarian torsion and / or breathing problems.
Finally, three years ago, as she approached her forties, her doctors advised her to stop having children. Mariam says the doctor did a procedure where he told her that he “would cut her uterus from within” . Today she can no longer have children.
Raises 44 children
As you can imagine, raising 44 children has been incredibly difficult, especially as a single mother. Mariam works around the clock to take care of her children while she tries to earn enough money to just feed them.
She did everything to make money for her family. This includes hairdressing, decorating events, collecting and selling scrap metal, brewing gin and selling herbal medicines. All the money goes to food, medical care and school fees. She cooks 25 kg of corn every day, with rarely meat or fish.
Mariam Nabatanzi, The 40-year-old woman from Uganda🇺🇬 gave birth to 44 children. She lost 6, making 38 children under one roof. The eldest son is 26 and the youngest 4 years. Mariam gave birth to a total of 44 babies, all with one husband. pic.twitter.com/0dlKvcn4Y0
– Africa Archives ™ (@Africa_Archives) January 16, 2022
“I started taking on adult responsibilities very early on. I have not had joy, I think, since I was born. ” she said. “I grew up in tears, my husband put me through a lot of pain. I spent all my time caring for my kids and working to make some money.
Mariam insists she wants to give her children a better life and a more loving home than she had. She also insists that all her children go to school.
However, it is difficult as it has become increasingly difficult to support them. Her eldest son, Ivan, had to drop out of school because the family ran out of money to pay his fees.
“Mother is overwhelmed, she works constantly, we help as much as we can, as with cooking and laundry, but she still bears the burden of the whole family. I feel for her “ he declared.
After all, she loves each of her children. She said she would never give up on them no matter what. Mariam says of her children that each one is special to her and that she loves them with all her heart.
“I can not say that they tire me because they are my children. I can not say that I want to leave them because they are my children and I love them.