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  • Writer's pictureJason Capp

The Most Fertile Woman in the World

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

A mother from Uganda who has birthed forty-four children by the age of 36 just wants her kids to get a good education, eat well, and be a helping hand around the house.

Mariam Nabatanzi with many of her children.

Born in 1979 in Uganda, Mariam Nabatanzi did not dream of ever becoming the world's most fertile woman. Actually, Mariam was not able to dream so much growing up, because she had a childhood that could merit a script for a horror film.

Mariam's mother left their family when she was quite young, and her father quickly remarried. The new stepmom ended up poisoning and killing all of her siblings, and the only reason she survived was because she stayed at a relative's house at that time.

Mariam was sold into marriage at an extremely young age, and she became a bride at 12-years-old to a 40-year-old man. She gave birth to her first child one year later at the age of 13.

Since her first child, Mariam went on to have four sets of twins, five sets of triplets, and five sets of quadruplets by the time she was only 36-years-old. Unfortunately, six of her kids are dead, which leaves thirty-eight surviving children, and her deadbeat husband decided to leave her and the family for no good reason as they continue to survive on their own.

Mariam has been crowned "The Most Fertile Woman in the World", and although it has been a struggle for most of her life, it has only been recently revealed to her the rare genetic condition where she suffered from producing an abnormal amount of eggs in one cycle, also known as a predisposition to hyper-ovulate. This is what caused her to easily have multiple children at once.

She was also unable to take birth control, because local doctors were concerned that it could cause serious problems due to her larger-than-normal ovaries. By the time she had 25 kids at 23-years-old, she was begging doctors for a solution.

After her last kids were born, Mariam decided to put a stop to this rhythm that essentially crippled her for most of her life, and doctors performed a surgery on her uterus that should stop her from ever getting pregnant again.

Nowadays, Mariam works whatever side jobs she can find in her impoverished village near the capitol of Kampala. The resilient family also lives in four small houses surrounded by coffee fields, and it is the mother's dream to continue educating her kids and giving them the life she thinks is best for them.

Every day, Mariam cooks roughly 55 pounds of corn, and on special days providing good protein in the form of fish or other meats. Thankfully, many of the kids provide help with cooking, cleaning, and other household chores.

“I started taking on adult responsibilities at an early stage,” Mariam recalled as she was interviewed by Australia's 7 News. “I have not had joy, I think, since I was born.”

Mariam Nabatanzi has experienced a tremendous amount since she was a child, but her strength and willpower have given her a grand sense of love and care for her children. Even though the loss of her mother, siblings, six children, and husband all mark some dark periods in her life, she finds joy and hope in her family and providing them with the most she can offer.

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