Mariam Nabatanzi is a 39-year-old mother from Uganda who gave birth to 44 children. While she lost 6 kids on the way, she still takes care of 38 of them alone.
While the mother is proud of her children and her big family, her life was never easy. When Mariam was only 13 years old, her parents sold her off to a man 27 years her senior.
The parents claimed it was all a part of arranged marriage but Mariam never knew what was going on until she found herself trapped at her ‘husband’s’ home.
A year later, at the age of 14, she gave birth to twins, her first babies. In the next year, she gave birth to triplets followed by birth of quadruplets. By the age of 39, Mariam gave birth to 44 babies in total, including 6 twins, 4 triplets, 3 quadruplets, and only 2 singles. 6 children died.
Speaking of her teen years, Mariam said:
“My husband had many children from his past relationships and I had to take care of them 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.”
The mother also explained that she is thankful to God for providing her with so many children. The only thing she feels upset about is their father.
Allegedly, the man would often leave her and her children for months or years before returning home. Eventually, he abandoned them completely and Mariam was left alone to take care of 38 kids.
Despite her struggles, however, Mariam never complains. She’s dedicated her life to taking care of her children and providing them with everything they need to grow up healthy.
The hardworking mother also made sure that all of her children are getting a proper education. “I am hopeful that my children will go to school because they all have big ambitions of being doctors, teachers, and lawyers. I want them to achieve these dreams, something I was not able to do,” Mariam said, adding that one of her firstborn twins became a qualified builder while another became a nurse.
To provide for her big family, Mariam resorted to taking on whatever work gets her way. She bakes cakes, collects and sells herbs, styles hair, organizes events, and lays bricks among other jobs.
“I know these children are a gift from God that I have to treasure, so I try my best to fend for them,” she said.
Blessing or not, the authorities said enough was enough and banned the mum from having any more kids. She also had to undergo a medical procedure in which, according to the mum, the doctors “cut my uterus from inside.”
According to Dr. Charles Kiggundu from Kampala, Uganda, Mariam’s high fertility is probably hereditary.
“Her case is genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate — releasing multiple eggs in one cycle — which significantly increases the chance of having multiple births. It is always genetic,” he said.
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