Just imagine it. Having 38 children by the time you’re 36 years old! That’s exactly what happened to Mariam Nabatanzi, a now 39-year-old mother who lives in Uganda.
Married at the Age of 12, Abandoned by Husband at Age 36
So how exactly does a 36-year-old have 38 children? We’ll break down the math for you. Mariam was married at the young age of 12, and gave birth to a set of twins one year later. Since then, she had five more sets of twins, four sets of triplets and five sets of quadruplets! Wowza.
She would have had even more, as she has lost six children altogether thanks to pregnancy complications.
Apparently her husband couldn’t handle being the father of a literal herd of children, and left their mother three years ago, when she was 36 years old.
Referred to as an Expletive
Truth be told, Mariam is probably better off without her husband, as he was apparently not around during most of their marriage, and instead of calling his wife by her name, called her an expletive instead.
In her own words, Miriam said of their marriage, “I have grown up in tears, my man has passed me through a lot of suffering. All my time has been spent looking after my children and working to earn some money.”
That doesn’t mean that her life is easy, however. Miriam and her children live in a village 31 miles north of Kampala, in four little cramped cement houses. She also faced a tragic upbringing, as her mother abandoned her and her siblings three days after she was born, and she was one of six children that escaped being poisoned by their stepmother.
The only reason that Miriam survived is because she was visiting another relative at the time.
How Can She Have So Many Children?
When Miriam’s first set of twins were born, she was told by a doctor that she has unusually large ovaries, which can cause more eggs to be released than the norm. She was also told that taking birth control pills could cause health problems.
Her eldest child, 23-year-old Ivan Kibuka, says, “Mum is overwhelmed, the work is crushing her. We help where we can, like in cooking and washing, but she still carries the whole burden for the family. I feel for her.”
It isn’t uncommon for families in Uganda to have a larger than average amount of children, but the typical number is around 5.6 children per woman – not 38!