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40-year old woman gives birth to her 15th child, promises more

by Staff Reporter
14 May 2013 at 22:36hrs | Views
A 40-year old Gokwe woman recently gave birth to her 15th child, and said she would continue giving birth until she outdoes the senior wife in their polygamous union who has 18 children.

But the woman claimed she had a nightmarish experience after she was allegedly turned away by Gokwe District Hospital authorities for having sought maternity services for so many times.

Sources said the hospital authorities were worried that the woman, Mrs Hlekiwe Tititi Ngwenya, could face complications in labour. They said the hospital authorities felt the institution was not well-equipped to deal with a woman who gives birth so many times.

"It was felt that the woman needed special attention, given the rate at which she was giving birth. They felt that she could be best assisted at Gweru Provincial Hospital. The Gokwe Hospital staff then made arrangements to transfer Mrs Ngwenya to Gweru where she gave birth to healthy baby girl on Monday," said the source.

However, the challenges did little to dampen Mrs Ngwenya's wish to keep bearing children. She is the second wife in a polygamous marriage to Mr Luca Ngwenya, a member of the Johane Masowe apostolic sect.

Mrs Ngwenya, who has been giving birth on an almost yearly basis, said she planned to outperform the other two wives in bearing more children for their husband. The senior wife has given birth to 18 children.

Mrs Ngwenya, who was still admitted at Gweru Provincial Hospital, yesterday said she would continue bearing children until she reached menopause.
"I am a member of the Johane Masowe WeChishanu apostolic sect. According to our church doctrine, we should bear as many children as we can.

Bhaibheri rinoti zvaranai semusheche wegungwa. Saka ndicharamba ndichizvara kusvikira ndaguma ura (The Bible taught us that we should bear as many children as we can and as long as I am still reproductive, I will continue to bear children)," she said.

Mrs Ngwenya said her husband had 36 children with all his wives.
She said the number excluded those who died due to measles.

"I have so far given birth to 15 children in this marriage. I feel very strong and I intend to continue to bear more children," she said.
Mrs Ngwenya confirmed that she had to be referred to Gweru Provincial Hospital as nurses at Gokwe District Hospital feared that she could experience complications in labour.

She said she did not experience any challenges despite the hospital authorities' fears.
"I have been having normal deliveries to all the 15 children and I hope this will continue," she said.
Mrs Ngwenya said six of her 15 children had since died due to measles.

"We are not allowed by our church to take our children to hospital. It was unfortunate for me because the children who received prayers after birth were not attacked by the disease," she said.

Meanwhile, Gweru Provincial Hospital medical superintendent, Dr Fabian Mashingaidze, said while it was normal for a person to have more than 12 children, it was unusual for Mrs Ngwenya to have 15 children at the age of 40.

"A woman can bear as many children as she can as long as she is productive. This is so because three months after giving birth, a person can become pregnant. It is, however, unusual for Mrs Ngwenya to have as many children as 15 at her age," he said.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia.

In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. Numerous contemporaneous sources exist, which suggest that this seemingly improbably and statistically unlikely story is true.

The case was reported to Moscow by the Monastery of Nikolsk on February 27, 1782, which had recorded every birth. It is noted that, by this time, only two of the children who were born in the period 1725–65 failed to survive their infancy.

Source - Herald