Everyone's pregnancy journey is different, but they usually have one thing in common: They never look like the "perfect" pregnancies on your Instagram feed.

pregnancy expectations
Credit: Nina Buday/Shutterstock

IRL, mine was...different.

Sure, my pregnancy was a bit of an extreme sport compared to the usual, given I had twins on board. (And yes, I got very, very big.) But I'm far from the only one whose experience of pregnancy was pretty raw and intense (even, thankfully, without major complications). So, now that I'm on the other side—almost three years postpartum, actually—I am keeping it real with all you mamas who might (or might not!) experience something similar as an unpleasant surprise. You're not alone, it's all normal—and it's all good to laugh about it!

So tell me—do any of these sound familiar?!

1. Maternity Style

Expectation: I will be so stylish rocking that bump!

Reality: Stylish maternity clothes are way too expensive and hard to find — so I'll end up wearing the same Old Navy staples for the duration. (No single garment on earth has ever worked harder than that $20 black crew-neck jersey LBD!)

2. That "Glow"

Expectation: I will look so glowy in pictures!

Reality: Sweaty. The word is sweaty.

3. Food & Cravings

Expectation: I can eat whatever I want!

Reality: My favorite ethnic foods will give me such epic acid reflux, I will be terrified to come anywhere near them. (But then I will eat Ethiopian takeout anyway — because soooo hungry — and I'll pay very dearly with a sleepless night desperately popping Tums.)

4. Being Pregnant in Public

Expectation: People will give up seats for me just because they see my cute bump!

Reality: Spooked people will run as fast as they can away from me when they see me coming, fearing I might deliver at any moment in their presence. They will take the next elevator.

On the flipside, they may also get waaay too close, and demand answers to questions that are waaay too personal. Because apparently being pregnant means you give up all expectation of privacy or manners from strangers.

5. Rocking the Bump

Expectation: I'll have a charming little waddle in my third trimester.

Reality: Oh, that sounds nice...but I'll be in no position to waddle! By 32 weeks, I'll be cruising around Target buying baby essentials in the store-issued motorized cart because walking — even standing for very long — is totally not happening. (Pro tip: Although mortifying, the motorized cart is also a highly effective and convenient means of transportation under the circumstances!)

6. First-Time Mom Feelings

Expectation: I'll be so in love with my growing babies and simply bursting with excitement to meet them!

Reality: I'll be so terrified to be a clueless new mom to two newborns, I'll actually prefer to keep them inside as long as possible where they are contained, safe, and I'm less likely to drop them on their heads...no matter how bad that acid reflux gets.

(Spoiler alert: They're on the outside now, and I am totally in love. Turns out all the craziness of pregnancy is all worth it...even if it's not exactly like it appears on Instagram!)