Her alias is “Nalongo Muzaala Bana” (the twin mother that produces quadruplets) and she truly deserves that nickname.
When she was 12 years old, she married a man 28 years her senior, after surviving an attempt of by her stepmother.
She says that her stepmother put broken and crushed glass in the food, which killed her four siblings.
Mariam survived because she was not around at the time, but her parents still got rid of her by marrying her off to an older man.
Her husband physically abused her whenever she said or did something that he wasn’t in support of.
“My husband was polygamous with many children from his past relationships who I had to take care of because their mothers were scattered all over,” Mariam told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper.
“He was also violent and would beat me at any opportunity he got even when I suggested an idea that he didn’t like.”
Mariam Nabatanzi gave birth to her first children, a set of twins, in 1994 when she was 13 yearshad her first set of triplets when she was 15 years old.
Barely two years after that, she delivered quadruplets.
Mariam never saw this routine of having so many children a ‘strange phenomenon’ because she has seen it several times before.
Also, she felt having so many children wasn’t so bad since her father had 45 children with several women. She further says that they all came in sets of quintuplets, quadruples, twins and triplets.
A gynecologist at Mulago Hospital, Dr. Charles Kiggundu told Daily Monitor that the reason for Mariam’s extreme fertility is probably genetic:
Her case is genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples; it is always genetic.”
Mariam had always dreamed of having six children, but by her sixth pregnancy, she had already given birth to 18 babies, and she wanted to stop.
She tried to get help from a hospital, but after going through some tests, the gynecologist informed her that interfering with her fertility would put her life at risk.
“Having these unfertilized 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 asserted.
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
At age 23, Mariam already had 25 children, and she went to the hospital. However, they told her that nothing was possible to stop the birthing, as her egg count was still very high.
Mariam Nabatanzi’s birthing troubles ended in December 2016 after she gave birth to her last baby.
She says that the doctor told her that he had “cut my uterus from inside”. Dr. Kiggundu asserted that this was most likely tubal ligation.
“I can comfortably tell you that our siblings do not know what father looks like. I last saw him when I was 13 years old and only briefly in the night because he rushed off again,” Charles, her son said.
After Daily Monitorfeatured Mariam Nabatanzi’s story in April last year, a crowdfunding campaign wascreated for her on GoFundMe. It managed to raise $10,000 in more than a month.