Feeling like a failure

I would post this on the pregnancy board, but that gets no traffic. I'm 36 weeks along with HORRIBLE swelling of what started as just my ankles but now has progressed upwards to my knees. I have never had any health probs before. I've always been in shape, thanks in large part go cathe. ive always thought I would be able to work out until I delivered. There was that story a few days ago about that women doing super intense weight lifting a week before she was due. I know mAny of you who were able to keep up with it until the bitter end. I've been gradually slowing down a bit, like doing 30 min workouts instead of 60 mins. Yesterday, I popped in supercuts. I know I can't do many of the plank moves in that workout, but that's okay. Well, I just barely got through the warm up and my quads were cramping BAD. Plus I could barely squat because my ankles and knees are so swollen. I couldn't get them to stop cramping so I could resume the workout. So I tried this stupid Prenatal yoga workout that I bought for a dollar and found to be a complete joke ( I'm typically not a yoga person, I like my heart rate higher). The instructor in the video is just starting to show and doing all these moves which I could typically do no prob. I couldn't do half of them!! What the heck is wrong with me. I'm really sad :(


Please don't be so hard on yourself. Every woman is different. You should not be so hard on yourself. Your body is so hard at work already. Holding and creating this beautiful little person inside of you is a miracle. Embrace this special time. I too am a cathelete and had to stop working out at 16 weeks pregnant because my back was killing me. Cathe will still be here when you are ready to get back into your workouts!

Take care and good luck. Wishing you a healthy and quick delivery.


LISTEN to your body!!! I worked 12 hour shifts my last trimester, ate no extra salt, walked 4 miles a day when off and my lower legs was swollen the whole time during that summer pregnancy. (the baby turns 20 October 17 :)

I was a skinny thing with a large baby or what people use to say all baby. My lower half just didn't get that much circulation. Swelling in legs during last trimester of swelling can be perfectly normal. If your blood pressure and leg pulse points are normal than just rest and elevate as often as possible.

I kept them elevated when I was off work. Its time for you to change your workout routine.

THis does not mean your a failure. Its mean your body is needing extra rest and care to prepare for a new life.


Like Cafelattee, I was all baby too, and went from an athletic, muscular body of 128 to 240 (I'm 5'9" tall for reference) and I was thinking the same things as you, what did I do wrong. Well... nothing. I had a big 10 pounder boy and lost all the weight in 7 months. You do what you think is best, listen to your antenna.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm all baby too except of course my legs. I guess that my big belly is not allowing blood to flow as efficiently back to my heart and its pooling in my legs. I work 12 hour days too. Today I'm off so I'm going to try to keep my legs up most the day. It's so hard because I'm a busy body! I'm going to take the dog for a walk, but I don't think I'm going to attempt a workout. I hope that I will be able to get back in shape shortly after delivery!


Good luck to you and your baby. Listen to your body. Listen to your doctor. A safe delivery is your goal right now. Once that baby is here, you can figure out a schedule/routine and get back on track.
The workouts can wait


I too had big plans for my pregnancy with respect to workouts. I was going to exercise all the way through. Instead, I discovered I was pregnant with twins and because of my age, my ob told me to take the intensity down. Plus I was horribly sick the entire first trimester and couldn't work out anyway. Once I was past that, I could do no more than some light cycling and walking. I was put on bedrest the final month, so no more exercise at all.

Obviously that was not what I had planned, which was frustrating, but there wasn't much I could do about it. Listen to your body. It will tell you exactly what it needs nutritionally and physically during pregnancy (my body told me it needed unripe bananas and cauliflower dipped in yogurt! Ugh). Don't try to fight it. I was back in the gym working out exactly 7 weeks after delivery and lost all of the pregnancy weight in about 2 months. Now THAT went much better than I had planned! :D

You haven't failed, it just that pregnancies sometimes don't go as you planned. And anyway, why would they?

As for swelling, that's inevitable in the final weeks of pregnancy. It has nothing to do with how healthy you were before pregnancy. There isn't much you can do about it.
Last edited:


You are so close to your due date so focus on that. If you have to take it easy the last month that's OK! I had swelling with my first two and it is miserable but once that baby is out your ankles come right back! Keep those legs elevated as much as possible and get hubby/SO to massage them every night to help ease it a bit. Once your sweet baby is here and you're healed you can get back into Cathe at that point and your body will bounce back quickly.

My youngest will be 1 next weekend and I'm just now getting back to where I was before getting pregnant but I feel great and am back to my groove. Our bodies go through a lot during pregnancy and we deserve to cut ourselves a break.

I've heard the Brewer diet really helps swelling and followed it in part with my last 2 pregnancies, it's worth checking out.

Good luck and take it easy on yourself :)



Contrary what much of the media tells women, carrying a CHILD in ones stomach is very hard on the body! It is a traumatic physical experience. Women routinely come near death when giving birth, all as a matter of course. You are not a failure, you are experiencing a traumatic, life changing event which is by no means easy!

Therefore, do what you can physically, and then give your body at least 4 weeks to recuperate after you give birth as well without expecting too much.


I'm another who was all baby. I gained a total of 16 lbs and my extremeties (arms and legs) actually got smaller. My rings were falling off my fingers because the weight was all going to my stomach/baby. And then the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy one of my legs from the ankle to the knee just all of a sudden swelled up. I hadn't had any issues before that. The doctor said that my baby had shifted into a position that caused fluid to build up in that leg because the circulation was compromised.

It horrified me, this big ol' swollen leg. But it went down as soon as he was born. I mean immediately! I can remember still being in the delivery room, looking down at my leg and seeing that it was normal again. My baby was 9 lbs, so that was a lot of weight blocking the circulation in that leg.

As others have said, don't be so hard on yourself. You've got just a few weeks left. You will have a happy, healthy baby very soon and these last few weeks will become a distant memory. Good luck and congratulaions!


You've gotten some great advice already, but I wanted to add - your body's main job right now is to grow a healthy baby. And now, it's almost ready to deliver that baby.

Your brain needs to get on board with what the body naturally will do with or without the brain being on board. That's where your conflict is. What you think your body could, would or should do isn't happening - so relax. Your body's main job right now is not to keep up with strenuous workouts. So, stop listening to your brain and listen to your body. Relax. enjoy this time and be kind to your body as it's working hard to get ready to deliver a healthy baby.

All those wonderful Cathe workouts will be waiting for you when your body is ready for them. Good luck and I hope this wasn't too harsh. It was just a little tough love.

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.