Louise Egestorp opens up about her living hell after the pregnancy: “Couldn’t sleep at night”

Louise Egestorp was at the peak of her powers. But she was frozen out from her club after her pregnancy – something that led to her being diagnosed with depression.
– I walk around with a basic feeling that I will never be happy with my life again, she says to Heartbeats.dk.

Louise Egestorp has represented Denmark at youth level and has been a top player in the Danish and German league during a ten year period. But when she joined a new club everything changed.

In an interview with the site Heartbeats.dk she opens up about how hard it can be as a female player at the highest level.

Egestorp tells that the performances on the pitch were at a high level, but when discussions about a new contract started – the club started to have doubts about other things.

– They told me that they weren’t so keen on giving me a multi-year contract, because I was 27 years old and had a partner. I was completely taken aback and said: Are you asking me about that? And then they said: Let’s ask another way: How many years do you think you have left? I said that I had just played the best half-season of my career and thought that I had many good years in me and that I was worth betting on, Egestorp says to Heartbeats.dk.

Everything changed

After the discussions Egestorp and her club reached an agreement for a two-year contract with an option for a further year. But after a year, and then the discussion about having a child came up for Egestorp and her partner. She hadn’t considered it herself at the time, but after several talks back and forth, they decided the time was right.

Shorty after Louise Egestorp got pregnant and she told the club. They accepted the message and Egestorp had a good maternity leave.

But at the end of august, five weeks after giving birth, the club received a loan-offer from another club. But Egestorp decided against the move, as she did not want to move with her newborn son

The club accepted the decision at first, but a few hours after practice Egestorp’s agent called and told that Egestorp would likely not getting any more playing time during the rest of the season.

Didn’t get a chance

Egestorp’s agent, Sophie Pedersen, got another perspective of what happened – but she admits that the club could have handled things better.

– Their message is that there will only be two goalkeepers in the match, and this means that they will most likely not bet on Egestorp, so her chances of playing time will be difficult to achieve. It is therefore not a punishment because she says no to the other club, but a very hard and blunt message in relation to the terms, so that she is aware of what she is saying no to and yes to, she says to Heartbeats.dk.

After the call from the agent Egestorp is called in for a meeting with the coach, where she is told that it will tough to get back into the team at all – even after her maternity leave.

Egestorp was told that it depended on the fact that her presence would cause unnecessary inrest in the squad, do the competition. But Egestorp did not understand the explanation.

The diagnosis

She believes that the coach’s reaction was a hope that she would take some more maternity leave and therefore not burden the salary budget, or that she would change her mind and still want to be loaned out. The whole situation produced a great emotional response.

– I’m just sad. I cry most of the time and I walk around with a basic feeling that I will never be happy with my life again. I couldn’t sleep at night. I had heart palpitations, had anxiety attacks at night, and then cried an absurd amount. If I was cooking and dropped an onion on the floor, I would start crying uncontrollably, she says to Heartbeats.dk.

After this Egestorp got diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. At the clinic, hey told her that there was no difference between having postpartum depression or another form of depression. The treatment would be the same. Depression is often the result of several connected events that cause life to turn upside down.

Surprised the club

She called herself sick, but after a while she receives a message from the club asking if she is ready to train again. She wrote back that she could come to training a few days later. The coaches told Louise Egestorp that they now wanted to be three keepers anyway, and here she told the coaches for the first time what she had gone through.

According to Louise Egestorp, the announcement came as a big surprise for the coaches. They were very sorry and asked what they could do for her. After a period of time Egestorp eventually got back to the pitch and represented the club – but shortly after she realized that she wasn’t ready to play at the highest level after the things that had happened.

Today, Egestorp has left handball and is now telling her story to avoid the stigma surrounding pregnancy in women’s handball.

Source: Heartbeats.dk