Søs Bjerrisgaard’s pregnancy
When Søs Bjerrisgaard was three months pregnant, she unexpectedly fainted and suffered a concussion. Laid up for a month, the only thing she wanted to do was eat vegetable soup. Despite having a wardrobe crisis these past months, she looks particularly stylish—also as a pregnant woman.
How did you find out you were pregnant?
“I bought a racer last summer. My boyfriend has been cycling for years so it seemed like a good time for me to try it too. We went out one Sunday with a group of friends and I became breathless. I knew that something wasn’t right, so we turned around and went straight home. I look a pregnancy test the same day.
I have polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS is a common condition that affects the way the ovaries work, resulting in irregular periods and often hindering a woman’s ability to become pregnant, —ed.] so I knew that it might be hard for me to get pregnant. We’d recently decided to try for a baby, but it all happened so quickly. I was pretty shocked to see the test result. I started shaking, my heart was pounding, and I began crying when the two lines became visible. I was pretty overwhelmed and wasn’t quite sure how to feel. My boyfriend was over the moon; I needed to process it. A few weeks passed and I continued to take pregnancy tests. I’d resigned myself to the fact that it would take a while to get pregnant, so it didn’t really sink in that I already was. I was suddenly left wondering whether the timing was right. Should we have waited? What about my career? My head was filled with a thousand thoughts. We told our family just before the first scan and our friends afterwards. It was only at the 12-week ultrasound scan that I finally understood that there really was a little life growing inside me.”
Describe your pregnancy so far.
“On the whole, it’s been really easy. However, I had a funny turn when I was around three months pregnant. We were out shopping for a new kitchen and I suddenly felt really ill. I have low blood pressure, so it wasn’t particularly alarming to feel this way. I hurried to the nearest toilet where I got progressively worse. On my way back out to my boyfriend I fainted, hitting my neck and my head as I fell. We took a taxi to the hospital straight away. I was examined and told that both the baby and I were fine. It’s very normal for pregnant women with low blood pressure to faint. But the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. My head hurt so much and every time I got up, I felt worse. The day after, The day after I just knew that something was wrong. I was admitted to hospital and demanded a CT scan of my head. They obliged but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. I quickly had to accept the fact that I could only lie down and was therefore put on sick leave from work. My boyfriend and my mum took care of me during the day; simple tasks like getting a glass of water were suddenly impossible. At one point, I thought I would never get better. But after a couple of weeks I did, although I steered clear of my phone and the TV. Looking back, I have no idea how I passed the time. Beyond resting, the only thing I wanted to do was eat boiled vegetables and soup. I was in constant dialogue with my doctor, who told me to expect it to affect my pregnancy, which was really hard to hear. As I slowly began to feel better, I booked an appointment for craniosacral therapy. I ended up having around seven sessions at weekly intervals and it helped from the get-go. I also saw massage and physical therapists and a healer. I didn’t hold back! After a month, I started work again on a part time basis. Before the accident, a normal day at the office could be stressful so it felt pretty overwhelming returning to a hectic, noisy agency after weeks on the sofa. Just before Christmas, the headaches finally started to disappear and after a long Christmas break, I was finally symptom-free.”
How do you feel about your pregnant body?
“I can see it has changed. I have curves that I didn’t before—which has taken time to get used to, both in terms of my reflection in the mirror and when choosing what to wear each morning. The latter has actually proven to be really difficult and I’ve had plenty of wardrobe crises. Despite only putting on 8-10 kg, it’s made a big difference to my body.”
Have you exercised during pregnancy?
“I’ve always enjoyed exercising and have practiced yoga for around 10 years. Before getting pregnant, I had planned to continue yoga but it’s as if my body has refused to cooperate. Instead, I’ve cycled and walked a lot, which has proven to be enough.”
What do you miss most while pregnant?
“Being able to pull on a pair of jeans, and to enjoy a glass of wine with a meal. I also miss being able to move freely. “
Describe your personal style.
“I’ve always loved wearing suits and jeans, shirts and T-shirts. During my pregnancy I’ve had to find other options. I’ve never been a dress girl, but they have saved me countless times during pregnancy, especially comfy, oversized styles. I’m not a big fan of tight clothing around my stomach. I’ve bought a few new items but would probably have bought more if I hadn’t been pregnant.”
What was the first item of maternity clothing you bought?
“I bought maternity tights and leggings from Strut, a shop in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district. They’ve been super comfortable to wear. I also bought a warm and practical down jacket. When I was in Paris with my boyfriend, I was so tired of wearing dresses all the time and luckily found a pair of purple track pants from Patagonia. They’ve been indispensable.”
How did you discover that you had PCO?
“I’ve always had really bad period pains and when I stopped taking the pill a few years back, I didn’t get my period for two years. A check-up revealed I had PCO. I’ve always been conscious about what I eat and lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. Since my diagnosis, I’ve become even more aware of the importance of looking after oneself. I’ve practiced a lot of yoga and meditation and stuck to a strict diet without sugar, milk and gluten. It wasn’t anything my doctor recommended; I researched it entirely off my own back. I’ve since been tested for PCO and have almost no cysts, so it’s definitely helped me.”
Which shoes have carried you through your pregnancy?
“I’ve worn my New Balance 990 thin. They’re so comfy.”
How has your beauty regimen changed?
“I use mostly natural skincare products and make-up, including Rudolph Care Mommy & Me for my belly and their açai body lotion. I also love Karmameju’s mild body oil with lavender.”
And what about dietary supplements?
“Before becoming pregnant, I took Women’s Support supplements from Vitaviva. Throughout my pregnancy I’ve take magnesium in the evening for leg pains and Vitaviva’s Water Away to avoid fluid retention. I supplement my low iron levels with Kräuterblut and also take Vitamax multivitamins which contain folic acid.”
How are you preparing for labour?
“My friend Caroline Goth is doula, so I’ve booked her as my due date approaches. Just as you prepare for a meeting, I feel you have to prepare for giving birth. Caroline won’t be present for the birth itself, but she’s talked us through the different stages of labour and will give me rebozo massage [a gentle massage technique used to relax and balance the lower back and pelvic area, —ed.] up until I go into labour. I’ve never been nervous about giving birth. In fact, I feel really positive about it. It’s the postnatal part, including breastfeeding, that I’m more focused on and would like help with. It’s reassuring to know that I have Caroline as a lifeline if I do encounter any problems. She’s delivered a lot of babies at private homes, but I feel safer in a hospital. I want to have as natural a birth as possible and avoid medical pain relief as I’m concerned about potential side effects. My approach is quite holistic, so I’d prefer it to be as natural as possible. That’s not to say that pain relief is ruled out completely; you never know.”
Text Bea Fagerholt Photo Liv Winther
Adapted and translated into English by Hero Agency.
MEET & GREET
Søs Bjerrisgaard, 31, is expecting her first child with her boyfriend of five years, Christian Budde. She’s currently on maternity leave from her job as Brand Director of the PR agency Patriksson Communication, where she’s responsible for fashion and lifestyle clients including Filippa K and Glossier.