Mariam Nabatanzi, a 40-year-old woman from the Mukono District of Uganda, was named the most fertile woman in the African country after it was confirmed that she had given birth to 44 children.

Nabatanzi is known as Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruplets) in her home village of Kabimbiri, central Uganda, and that nickname is well-earned.

she has given birth to six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruplets, and a few single births in the 18 years she spent being pregnant.

Of the 44 children she brought into this world, 38 are still and most still live in the home of the family. Nabatanzi is a single mother, and she manages to put enough food on the table for everyone, even though she provides for such a large family.

The life of Mariam was never easy. She was married to a 28-year-old man at the age of 12, after surviving her stepmother’ trying to kill her. She said her stepmother put crushed glass in the food and succeeded in killing her four siblings.

She survived because she was not at home when this happened, but her parents also managed to get rid of her, by marrying her off to a much older man who beat her violently anytime she said or did something he didn’t like.

In 1994, at the young age of 13, Nabatanzi gave birth to her first children—twins. She had her first set of triplets two years later, and almost two years after that she gave birth to quadruplets.

Mariam feeding some of his children. (Courtesy via Mariam Nabatanzi,)

While most people may find it strange, Nabatanzi didn’t find it peculiar at all because she had seen it before. Her father had 45 children with multiple women, and she said they all came in quintuplet, quadruple, twin and triplet sets.

Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, told the Daily Monitor that the most likely cause of Nabatanzi’s extreme fertility was hereditary, “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.”

Nabatanzi’s wish was to have six children but she had already given birth to 18 babies by her sixth pregnancy, so she wanted to stop.

By the age of 23, Mariam already had 25 children, so she went to the hospital, but she was told that nothing could be done because her number of eggs was still high.

After the birth of her last child, Nabatanzi’s fertility woes finally ended in December 2016, when the doctor told her he had “cut my uterus from inside”.