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Meet Mariam Nabatanzi , at age 39, have 38 children

Photo credit Colleb Mugume

Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye also known as Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruples) is a woman in a unique and with a very rare situation. She is from Uganda,

At 39, Nabatanzi has 38 children whom she has delivered from home except the last born who is four months old. She was delivered by caesarean section. Among her children are six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruples and single births. Ten of these are girls and the rest are boys. The oldest is 23 years old while the youngest four months.

Mariam Nabatanzi when she married, she never expected things to escalate quickly in the manner-of child bearing. Although she planned to have only six children, by the time she had delivered thrice, she had accumulated 18 children and found out it wasn’t even up to her to stop when she wanted to stop.

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Mariam has not had an easy childhood either. In 1993, she was married off to a 40-year-old man, she was married off at 13 years of age after surviving death; allegedly at her stepmother’s hands who apparently pounded glass and mixed it in the food she gave Nabatanzi and her four siblings. Fortunately, she was away unlike her siblings who ate the food and died on the spot.

She had given birth to a total of 44 children with 38 surviving to this day. This is a very rare medical situation. Her case is genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples. By her sixth delivery, Nabatanzi had had 18 children and wanted to stop, so, she went to see a doctor at Namaliili Hospital. The doctor told Nabatanzi that she could not be stopped then because she had a high ovary count which would eventually kill her if she stopped.
“Having these unfertilised eggs accumulate poses not only a threat to destroy the reproductive system but can also make the woman lose their lives,” Dr Ahmed Kikomeko from Kawempe General Hospital explains.
“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 explains.
At the age of 23 with now 25 children, she went back to hospital to try and stop. “I was checked in at Mulago Hospital and advised to continue producing since the ovary count was still high.”

While battling with her reproductive situation, the husband ran away from home , she still has to provide and care for the children at home, pay for school fees all on her own. One of the children even develop a heart problem. She had to source the money by herself and friends.

Photo credit Colleb Mugume

Even in her travails she is positive and has advice for both men and women.
Nabatanzi says a woman is respected by the way she handles her family and having to settle in her marriage containing all that is there since this is her pride.
“There are no easy marriages; women should be patient because even our great grandmothers did not have a smooth one. They should be patient as there is always a lot to deal with in marriage and it is the patience that heals time, mine is to take care of my children which I am doing happily,” she says.
Advice to men
“Do not forget your responsibility because marriage is a joint responsibility to raise these children. “I cry deeply in my heart wondering whether I produced these children on my own.”
She further urges men to stop marrying off their children for quick money and gains as this not only affects them but also their children.

Video credit : StoryTeld.




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