Restrictions during her pregnancy
When Barbee did not follow the recommended diet during her pregnancy, her doctors and her community told her horror stories of women who had suffered horrendous deliveries or miscarriages. In the end, she acquiesced, even giving up cinnamon buns.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
I felt so good 'till I go
around there and be doing things and I went to lift a tub. And everybody
says, "Miss Annie, don't you do that." I
forgot about how I was pregnant, until the baby went to kicking. You
know I forgot all about it. I felt so good, and eat. But I was
scared—no, I won't tell a lie, I didn't
stay on that diet. This same Dr. Richard Percy, I went to him,
'cause it was my time to go. I'd been to Dr.
Easley. He said, "Didn't Dr. Easley give you a
diet?" I said yes she did. He said, "What's
the matter with you?" I said what you mean? He said,
"You're not keeping it." I said how do you
know. He said, "Your intake of salt is too much.
You're not supposed to have any. Your intake of salt is too
much." And he said, "The diet you're eating
is not for you." I said well she put me on a quart of
buttermilk every day. He said, "Yeah, you're getting
the milk. But the other things you're doing. She said no
coke?" I said, yes she did, no coke. "She
said no salt." I said yes she did. "She
say no sugar." I said yes she did. "She said
don't season your food with nothing but just a little dab of
margarine." I said yes she did. "Allright.
It's your life. If you go into that delivery room and are
fixing to have that baby and you have convulsions, we can't
save you nor the baby. Now you take your choice." The man
scared me so bad. I went back up to the factory honey, Betsy
there's something wrong, I told her what he said. And I go by
the bakery every day. Getting those cinnamon buns. So the lady said to
me, she said, "I ain't got nothing to do with it Ms.
Barbee, but you're not supposed to have this." I
said I know you're not. She said, "But
it's my job to sell it to you. My daughter in law was like
you. She was pregnant, had her child later in life. And she
wouldn't obey the doctor. She went to the delivery room to
have her baby and she had convulsions. The baby died, they had to save
her. Now you take your choice, the lady in the bakery. My job is to sell
these buns to you. But if I was you I wouldn't buy
them." That scared me to death. I got the buns and I gave
'em away. I couldn't eat 'em. Honey I
was going to town. So I had a pretty good delivery. I got along fine