An Open Letter to Preeclampsia

An Open Letter to Preeclampsia

By Rhiannon Giles of

Dear Preeclampsia,

You have been the friend every woman longs for during the exhausting final months of pregnancy. Your thoughtfulness was extraordinary — you saw clearly my need for rest and relaxation during such a stressful time.

Sure, I would have preferred a nice hotel and massage, but three weeks on an intermittently-inflating bed and 5 a.m. blood draws were a close approximation. While not having to get out of bed to pee was a nice touch, I have to say that I would have liked a chance to look into what other spa services were available. The staff was a little pushy, checking on me every three hours, but they refilled my water as needed.

Please don’t think me ungrateful; I know you were looking out for my best interests, making sure I was taken care of with food delivered moderately warm and unsalted right to my bed. At least when I was able to eat at all — that was one of your most creative gifts, a nice magnesium cleanse to help me get a head start on losing the baby weight.

You know I support the arts, so you arranged for the IV pump to sing me the song of its people at unpredictable intervals, and you even gave me a head start on the whole adult coloring book craze.

You went out of your way to help me avoid stretch marks and torn lady bits and outdid yourself in your commitment to avoiding the woes of the third trimester. No way would I have gotten my body back as quickly if I’d carried the pregnancy to term!

Whereas many pregnancy illnesses are nothing more than an annoyance, you helped me meet my dear son two months earlier than I could have dreamed. I was then relieved of the burden that comes with a screaming baby in the middle of the night, since you arranged for him to stay right there in the hospital for five weeks.

You thought of everything!

But did you have to try to kill me? It really sends a girl mixed signals.

Rhiannon Giles

A version of this post first appeared on McSweeney’s


About the Author

Rhiannon Giles is an overwhelmed mother who only occasionally considers giving her children to the circus. She has a sarcasm problem and writes regularly at To keep up with new posts and see some of her favorites, join her on Facebook and Twitter.