A resident of Uganda named Mariam Nabatanzi at the age of 39 was left alone with 38 children in her arms. All children are blood-born, no foster children. This became possible because almost every year since her marriage, Mariam gave birth to not one child, but several at once: she had six pairs of twins, four "sets" of triplets and five "sets" of fours, of which six children did not survive.
The story of a mother with many children
Mariam Nabatanzi lives in Kasavo village, Mukono district, east of Kampala, Uganda. She gave birth to her first twins a year after getting married at the age of 12. Nabatanzi went to see a doctor shortly after giving birth, who said she had enlarged ovaries. He warned her that in this case, birth control pills could cause health problems. Therefore, Mariam did not use contraception and continued to give birth.
In Uganda, you will not surprise anyone with a large family. According to the World Bank, the country's fertility rate averages 5.6 children per woman, one of the highest in Africa and more than double the global average of 2.4 children. But even for Uganda, the number of children in the Nabatanzi family is something extreme. In a video filmed a year ago, the family is shown in full force - with the father of the family.
Mariam worked all this time. Despite the fact that she was the mother of numerous twins. Her husband was often away from home for long periods. In the end, he fled from his wife, leaving his offspring orphans. His name is now a family curse. Mariam Nabatanzi mentions the name of the father of his children, only using obscene language.
I grew up in tears, and my husband brought me a lot of suffering, - she said in an interview with The Daily Mail. - All my time was spent taking care of children and making money.
Desperate for funds, Mariam Nabatanzi takes on any job: hairdressing, decorating events, collecting and selling scrap metal, brewing local gin, and selling medicinal herbs. All money goes to food, medical care, clothing and school fees.
Mom is depressed, work weighs on her. We help where we can, we cook and do the laundry, but she still bears full responsibility for the family. I sympathize with her, - said her eldest child Ivan Kibuka, who is 23 years old. He had to drop out of high school when he ran out of money.
"I wanted to have six children"
Mariam Nabatanzi experienced a real tragedy as a child. Three days after her birth, her mother ran away from home, leaving her husband, newborn Mariam, and her five siblings behind. After her father remarried, her stepmother poisoned her five older children with crushed glass, mixing it with food. They all died. Mariam Nabatanzi escaped this fate only because at that moment she was visiting relatives.
I was seven years old then - too young to understand what death is. Later, relatives told me about all this, '' she said. “And I have always wanted to restore my lost family. That is why I wanted to have six children.
The Mariam family lives in four cramped cement block houses topped with corrugated iron. Their small village is surrounded by coffee fields on all sides. Twelve children sleep in metal bunk beds with thin mattresses in a small room with dirty walls. In other rooms, those children who are lucky lie on shared mattresses, while the rest, less fortunate, sleep right on the dirty floor.
The elders help look after the younger ones, and together they help the mother with household chores, such as cooking. They need 25 kg of cornmeal per day.Fish or meat is a rare delicacy in the house.
More than anything, Mariam Nabatanzi wants her children to be happy.
I started taking on adult responsibilities very early, she said. - It seems to me that I have not experienced joy since birth.
What is hyperovulation?
Hyperovulation is a physiological phenomenon in which a woman can ovulate several times in one cycle. This means that several eggs (most often two) are released from the ovaries at the same time. Superovulatory women are rare, although if you've already had non-identical twins, the chances of later having non-identical twins are great. And they increase even more with age - after 35 years. This is because the level of follicle-stimulating hormone released during a woman's menstrual cycle increases with age. When such a hormonal surge occurs, there is a chance of getting more than one egg in a cycle, which in turn increases the chances of having twins or triplets.