It’s been a month since the World Cup. A World Cup that Pernille played in. Her. She played in it. The World Cup. How many people get to put that on their resume.
Every footballer dreams of the World Cup. Not many make it. Only the best. And now Pernille joins Magda in the exclusive club.
She will never forget the cheers that filled the stadium as she scored Denmark’s first goal in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She’s not one to be self absorbed, but the memory of the stadium chanting her name, Harder, Harder, Harder, never fails to make her smile.
There’s something so special about playing on the world's biggest football stage with thousands of people watching. She dreamed of this since she was a little girl. And now it has come true.
But now. Now, she finds herself chasing a new dream. One that her World Cup dream comes second to. It’s a close second, but it’s still second.
Pernille always knew she wanted to be a mother. On her fifth birthday her parents gifted her a doll, which would instantly become her favourite toy. She had other dolls before, but this one was different. This one was one of those look alike dolls, made somewhat customized and probably more expensive than any other gift Pernille’s parents had ever given her before. This one had beautiful, long blond hair, similar to Pernille’s. She came wearing a flowery pink dress, which was soon replaced by the soccer uniform that her parents purchased.
Pernille took that doll everywhere. She brought it along with her to her sister's soccer games. To the store. To the park. She even slept with it at night.
She would pretend to feed it food. Brush it’s teeth. You name it. She’s always had maternal instincts, even when she was five, and becoming an aunt, only solidified that.
That’s where her and Magda are headed now. To chase their new number one dream. Kids.
They spent weeks going over and over the sperm donations. It got to the point where Pernille joked she should just go to the pub and get knocked up by some random guy. However, Magda did not find this as funny as she did.
They both went over the files, first knocking out any that had any preexisting conditions in the family history. Pernille did not find this fun at all. She thought at first it would be fun to go over all of these files, but what she found out is there are so many things to consider. After what felt like months, they finally narrowed it down to three potential sperm donors. There was a lawyer, a classical musician, and teacher.
Magda voted for the lawyer because she told Pernille and quote “that she would make a great lawyer.” Pernille just laughed and went along with what Magda wanted because she really doesn’t care about the sperm donor, all she cares about is the child that will come from it.
She will admit they are both a little bit nervous. They both want this, but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating.
Pernille imagines a little baby that will soon be growing inside her. They both agreed that Pernille would be the one to carry their child, at least the first one. Pernille knew she wanted to carry her own baby and the timing wasn’t right for Magda. They both still play at Chelsea, but Pernille is taking this season off to have the baby. Denmark didn’t make the Olympics, but Sweden did and as captain, the timing wasn’t right for Magda. Captain. Of a World Cup and Olympic team. Pernille’s so proud of what Magda has accomplished, what they both have accomplished.
“Hey you know you’re not the one being poked and prodded today.” Pernille playfully shuffs Magda in the parking lot. “Relax. We’re going to be fine.”
Magda glances at her, locking their fingers together. “I know. I know. It is a little scary though, huh.”
“It is but it will also be amazing.” Magda leans down and presses a kiss to Pernille’s forehead before they walk into the doctor's office hand in hand.
Magda says the same thing to her each morning she wakes up. “How do you feel? Do you feel any different? Do you feel pregnant yet?”
The doctor said to wait a couple of weeks before taking a pregnancy test. Pernille hasn’t wanted to get Magda’s hopes up (or bring them down for that matter) because the doctor said that it can take a few tries to get pregnant. “I’m good. No, I don’t feel different. And I don’t know Magda.”
Each time she can see Magda’s face fall, and she tries not to let it show how terrible she feels. She knows Magda is just excited and being caring towards how Pernille is feeling, but the truth is Pernille doesn’t feel any different. Nor, from her extensive research online, does she have any of the symptoms of pregnancy.
After four weeks (what the doctor recommended) Pernille reluctantly takes a test. She knows she’s not pregnant. She would know if she was pregnant. But, she does it for Magda because Pernille’s sure it’s hard for Magda not to be experiencing this the way she is.
“You’re young. You’re healthy. We can try again. I promise I will get you guys a baby.” The doctor tells them at their next visit. The at home test Pernille took the week before was negative and the blood test she took at the doctors office only confirmed that.
Pernille grabs Magda’s hand and takes it into her lap. “Yes. Let’s try again.”
Pernille turns to Magda and she smiles sadly and nods her head.
This time around Magda doesn’t ask if she feels pregnant everyday. Pernille doesn’t know if that is for her sake or Magda’s.
Despite the circumstances they’re happy though. It’s only the second try and they are keeping their hopes up.
And of course they still have each other and there’s always football. Pernille is still training. Their staff knows that Pernille is planning to sit out this season because of pregnancy, but they haven’t told any of their teammates that they are trying yet.
She’ll miss football, but it’s not like she’s never going to play again. And of course the time off is worth it. For them. For their soon to be growing family.
Sometimes when they are lying in bed, Magda places her hands to Pernilles stomach like she’s imagining their baby in there. Pernilles heart sores. Magda is going to make such a great mother. At the moment, Pernille wants nothing more than to make that happen.
Soon, she tells herself. Soon.
It’s the morning, about four and a half weeks after the embryos were implanted, and Pernille wakes up feeling terrible. She’s tired and nauseous and she just feels different. Something tells her that this could be it. Everything that she’s been waiting for.
“Go to practice.” Pernille tells Magda. “I’ll be fine. It’s probably just a cold or something.”
While Magda is at training, Pernille walks to the nearest drug store and buys a pregnancy test. When she gets back home she pees on the little stick and sets a timer on her phone.
Why is she this nervous, she thinks, as she paces back in forth in their house. Maybe she should have waited for Magda to do this. But, at the same time she doesn’t think she can look Magda in the eyes and see her disappointed face again if the test is negative.
Her phone beeps, disrupting her thoughts. Pernille takes a deep breath before looking down at the test that rests on the bathroom counter. Turning over the stick in her hands, Pernille finally looks at the results. Two pink lines now show up on the stick.
“Pregnant. You’re pregnant Pernille!” The doctor says a week later, waving her test results. The blood test confirmed what she had already found out at home. “Come back in next week for an ultrasound, and bring Magda.”
On the drive home, Pernille can hardly focus on the road. She’s practically ecstatic and can’t wait another second to tell Magda the good news.
When she finally gets home, Pernille basically sprints up the stairs to their bedroom. She rummages around one of her drawers until she finds what she’s looking for.
She holds it up and smiles before bringing the prized item close to her chest. After a few moments Pernille hears Magda open the front door and call her name. Pernille quickly takes the surprise and puts it into a gift bag before she sees Magda’s head pop into the room.
“Hello beautiful.” Magda leans in and gives her a chaste kiss. “Looks like you’re feeling better.”
“I am.” Pernille kisses her again. It’s the only thing she can think of doing instead of just blurting out the news.
“What’s that goofy smile about?” Magda questions. “Not that I don’t love it.”
“Here.” Pernille sticks out the bag and Magda takes it from her. As she watches Magda open the bag, Pernille remembers when she did something similar for Magda when she transferred to Chelsea. But instead of Harder on the back, the blue jersey is small and Mommy is written across the back. Eventually, the baby will have a Sweden and a Denmark one, but Pernille thought a Chelsea one will do just fine for now.
Pernille looks sheepishly up at Magda awaiting her reaction. Magda’s smile grows up to her eyes as soon as she realizes what this means.
“Really?” She says with tears in her eyes. “Really.” Before she can say anything else Magda scoops her up into a bear hug, before gently laying her down and kissing up and down her body, paying special attention to her belly where their baby now grows inside her.
“I love you.”
“So we’re not telling them yet?” Magda wraps her arm around Pernille and guides her into the house.
“No I already…” Pernille pauses and Magda knows she’s caught when Pernille realizes that she is giggling. “You little shit.”
“Sorry I’m just messing with you. Yes of course we won’t tell them yet.”
“You heard the doctor. Usually couples don’t start telling people until a few more weeks. Just to be safe.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know. Magda kisses Pernille’s cheek. “Okay, let’s head in.”
They are in Denmark to celebrate both Magda’s and Pernille’s birthdays (Magda’s late and Pernille’s early), but it’s mostly just a get together for both families. Magda’s mom, dad, and sister came here from Sweden since it’s easier for them to come rather than Pernille’s sister to haul both her kids to Sweden.
This would be the perfect time to tell their families, but it’s still a bit early and they aren’t quite ready to share the little bubble they are in just yet. And besides, Pernille is hardly showing yet, so it’s not like they will be able to tell physically.
Magda just hopes they aren’t actually able to figure out that something is different. Even though this is just the beginning of the pregnancy, Magda already loves Pernille (and of course the life that’s growing inside her) even more than she thought she could. Her wife is just so freaking amazing and strong.
“Hey guys.” Everyone says simultaneously as they walk in. They go around giving hugs to everyone and catching up with others they may not have seen in awhile. Magda always stays close and keeps an eye on Pernille out of habit. She thinks this is just how it will be now. Her instinct to protect their children and their mother.
She knows that Pernille doesn’t need help with everything just yet. But Magda finds herself offering to get things for her and put away her dishes, even when Pernille shoos her off.
And of course there’s the whole idea that there is living, breathing, life inside of Pernille. She loves to talk to Pernille’s stomach, which Pernille finds incredibly dorky, but Magda doesn’t care. She’s more in love than she thought she could ever be.
Magda also has a habit of finding her hands drifting to Pernille’s stomach. Which is normally fine, but this causes a problem when they are trying to keep this a secret for now.
When they end up near each other, between catching up with family and playing the nephews, Magda can’t keep her hands off of Pernille. It’s been like this a lot too. She can’t help it. The love just radiates off her. If their families notice, Magda doesn’t catch it.
After the kids have gone to bed, all the adults situate themselves around the room, drinks in hand.
Magda’s dad offers Pernille a drink and Magda watches as Pernille takes it and thanks him. She plopped down next to Magda with a subtle glance.
They predicted this, but they had a plan. Pernille would keep a drink by her and when no one was looking Pernille would sneak a sip so that it would look like Pernille had been drinking (so far it hasn’t worked out).
After a few games were played and the laughs began to die down a comfortable silence filled the room. That is until Magda’s sister spoke up.
“So anything new that anyone has been wanting to share.” A few moments pass as everyone waits for Magda or Pernille to answer, but none comes.
“Hey. I’m talking to you two.” Magda and Pernille didn’t even notice that everyone was looking at them, until Amanda called them out. They were in their own little world. They guiltily looked up and Pernille adjusted her position in Magda’s arms. “You two have been acting all giggly and sneaky all day.”
“Us?” Magda finally says.
“Nah, we are always weird like this.” Pernille laughs.
“We all know you both are weirdos, but this, this is different.” Pernille’s sister, Louise, says catching on to where Amanda was going.
“You know it’s getting late. Maybe we should…” Magda says glancing at Pernille hoping she’ll follow suit.
Pernille looks like a deer in the headlights and Magda is running out of things to say. She unfortunately makes eye contact with both of their mothers. Oh boy, they definitely know. She shifts her gaze to their dads, and they look clueless, so at least they're safe with them.
“I’m pregnant.” Pernille blurts out and covers her mouth.
“Sorry.” she says quietly so only Magda can hear.
"You know we all pretty much knew." Amanda says. She glances around the room to see the men in the room shocked. "I mean all the women knew. Magda you practically couldn't keep your hands off of Pernille's stomach. What were we supposed to think?"
“Oh my gosh. A grandchild.” Their mothers exclaim at the same time, completely ignoring Amanda's comment.
“Well…” Magda finally says. Their parents and siblings give them both a confused look. Magda turns to Pernille before answering and then turns her attention back to their families. “More like grand children .”
“We’re having twins.” Pernille adds. “A girl and a boy.”
“How amazing!” Pernille’s mother says.
“I’m so happy for you both.” Magda’s mother adds and they both walk toward them to embrace them.
“Twins?” Magda hears as she sees both of their fathers exchange worried glances. Magda just laughs.
After dotting over Pernille for a while, their mothers get to planning an upcoming trip to London to help with the nursery and buying clothes for the babies.
These babies aren’t even born yet and they are already being spoiled rotten. But, she couldn’t be any happier.
Pernille is seated in the shade, under a tree in their backyard, as she watches Magda play with their children out in summer heat. Magda is so good with them. They are chasing each other around, presumably playing tag. Pernille smiles to herself, grateful for this life that she has.
This week is the twins 3rd birthday and Pernille doesn’t know how it’s only been three years since they have been born. She loves her and Magda’s little family so much more than she ever thought she could love anything or anyone.
The twins, Lilly and Theo, were born a few weeks early and had to spend a little time in the nicu, but other than that Pernille had a pretty easy delivery, considering two humans came out of her, but easy is what the doctors told her.
They are beautiful. So beautiful. They both have her blond hair. Lilly is the spitting image of Pernille and takes after her dorky personality. However, Theo has seemed to take on Magda’s fiery personality and the two of them together are like two peas in a pod.
Pernille is taken out of her thoughts when she feels a sweaty Theo jump into her lap. He’s just like his Momma and Pernille finds herself smiling and shaking her head in Magda’s direction.
“I love, love, love you.” Pernille coos to Theo, placing kisses all over his face, causing him to wiggle in her lap. Oh how she loves her sweet boy.
“I love, love, love you times a billion, Mommy.” Theo says excitedly back to her. She rubs his sweaty hair out of his face as she watches Lilly run up to the two of them sitting on the grass.
“Mommy.” Lilly calls out to her.
“What’s up my love.” Pernille takes Lilly into her arms so she can hold both of her children.
“Momma says to come and play with us.” Lilly laughs.
“Why are you laughing my silly goose.”
“She also called you…” More laughs. “Lazy.”
“Hmm.” Pernille lifts the twins off of her lap. “Mamma called me lazy huh. I guess we’ll have to get her back then?”
Pernille takes off into a jog. She knows the twins are following her by their soft giggles behind her.
As Pernille approaches Magda, she looks started. “Someone told me you called me lazy. So we are here for payback.”
Magda looks confused for a moment and before she can catch on, Pernille tackles Magda to the ground, tickling her.
“Babe, stop.” Magda managed to say between laughs.
“This is your payback.” Pernille giggles as Lilly and Theo join her in tickling Magda.
“Ha we got you Momma.” They both say. After a while they give up and join their Mamma on the ground. They curl up around Magda despite the summer heat. Pernille’s heart sores as she watches Magda place kisses on each of their children's foreheads as they slip in next to her. Pernille kisses Magda as well before joining her family on the ground.
They stare up at the clouds for a while. Lilly finding what she thinks is a dinosaur and a boat. While Theo points out that he thinks the clouds look like a crab and a motorcycle.
Pernille kisses Magda again before sitting up. “2 versus 2?”
Lilly immediately jumps up and grabs the football that’s lying in the grass beside them. “I call being on Mamma’s team.”