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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Annie Mack Barbee, May 28, 1979. Interview H-0190. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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 afterwards.