Beating the Heat in Salem - Pregnancy Edition

I remember it like it was yesterday. (Even though it was almost 22 years ago)

I was 8.5 months pregnant and on a camping trip with a large group of friends. It was August and I was miserable.

It was so hot. I felt so huge. And the only glow I had was sweat.

I was desperate for relief. I didn't have a swimsuit with me, but that wasn't going to stop me. I found some sort of flotation device, walked out onto the dock, and awkwardly climbed down a ladder into the lake. And then I floated. For a long time. I was weightless and cool and more comfortable than I had been in months. It was a beautiful thing.

But then it was time to get out.

No big deal, they said.

Get out the way you got in, they said.

Just climb back up that ladder. 

Did I mention that I was almost 9 months pregnant? After being weightless in the water, there was simply no way I could haul my hugely pregnant belly up that ladder. I tried. I promise I tried... while this big group of friends all had the privilege of watching the show.

My kind husband finally came and gave me a nice push from behind and, in a less than graceful manner, helped me get back to dry land.

I'm not sure I can recommend floating in a lake, but I can give you some great ways to stay cool in the Willamette Valley while pregnant.

1. Head to a movie

Sit in the air conditioned theaters at Willamette Town Center- because those seats RECLINE! Put your feet up, stretch out, and watch one last movie before your little one arrives.

2. Holy frozen yogurt, Batman!

Head immediately to your nearest Limeberry and fill a bowl with the yogurt flavor of your choice. (The pineapple? Oh my goodness.) Their topping selection offers many yummy treats to choose from. They're even open later on Fridays and Saturdays to meet your late night needs.

3. Put your feet up

Pregnancy often means swelling... and excessive temperatures will only make that worse. There is benefit to keeping your feet elevated to keep swelling to a minimum. (Maybe someone will fan you and feed you grapes while you're at it?)

4. Take a deep breath...

And relax with the sights and smells of lavender all around you. Visit one of our many local lavender farms and take the opportunity to sip some of their lavender lemonade. It's good for the soul.

5. Farm fresh foods

Take an early morning visit to Salem's Saturday Market. Pick up some fresh strawberries and raspberries to pop in the freezer for a delicious smoothie later in the day. (Slightly frozen cherries are also really tasty!) Don't want to make your own? Head out to Aspinwall's for a strawberry shake.

6. Escape the Valley

Take a short road trip over to Pacific City and dip your toes in the ocean. Stop in at Pelican Pub & Brewery for a delicious meal with a beautiful view!

7. Turn back the clock

...and spend an evening acting like teenagers again. Head to the 99W Drive-In in Newberg to catch a movie after the sun has set. This drive-in is one of the last of it's kind.

8. Drink more water

I know- you hear about drinking water while pregnant constantly, but it's even more important while it's hot. They say if you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated- so drink your water at a steady pace all day. (Add some fresh lemon to it for a little change.)

9. Work your abs

...while laughing! If you haven't been to the Capitol City Theater to see their improv show, you're missing out. (Really pregnant? Laughing is a great way to move that baby down.)

10. Run away

If you can escape for 24 hours, the resort at the Oregon Garden is a beautiful place to spend a quiet night. Grab a delicious dinner in their restaurant and wander the garden grounds after it's closed to the public.

11. Float away

While it isn't necessarily 'air conditioned', Soak Float Center provides you a chance to relax from head to toe in water that is the very perfect temperature. If you haven't had the opportunity to try it yet, now is a very good time.

12. Treat Yo'Self

Sip a cold "mocktail." You may not be able to indulge in much alcohol, but that doesn't mean you have to miss all of the delicious summer drinks. Combine 6 ounces frozen coconut yogurt, 1/2  a frozen banana, 1/2 of a 20-ounce can of pineapple, and one cup of milk (blend until smooth) for your very own Pina Colada.