Laura Prepon opens up to People about her painful decision to terminate her second pregnancy in 2018.
After the “Orange Is the New Black” star and now-husband Ben Foster welcomed their first child, daughter Ella, in 2017, the couple expected their second one the following year.
Before sharing the happy news with loved ones, the two decided to wait until their scheduled sonogram at 16 weeks.
However, during Prepon’s ultrasound examination, the sonographer noticed something was wrong. After an ob-gyn performed an echocardiogram, it was confirmed that the unborn baby had a condition called cystic hygroma — an abnormal development of the lymphatic vascular system during embryonic growth.
“Our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing and the bones were not growing,” Prepon told the publication on Wednesday. “We were told the pregnancy would not go to full term and that my body was at risk carrying any longer.”
It was at this moment that the couple had to make the heartbreaking call to end the pregnancy.
“Ben held me as I cried,” Prepon recalls. “We had to terminate the pregnancy.”
For the “That ’70s Show” alum, losing her baby brought back feelings of contempt that she had toward her body.
“To get to the second trimester and then be told this awful news, I felt like a failure,” she exclaimed. “I felt like my body had failed and failed having another baby. The whole cycle of ‘what’s wrong with my body’ came back.”
In her upcoming book “You & I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood,” Prepon says her own mother taught her bulimia, which lasted from her mid-teens to her late 20s.
“I was scared that somehow the abuse I put my body through could have been part of the reason things went wrong,” she added to People. “Doctors confirmed it wasn’t, but in those moments it’s easy to punish yourself.”
Though Prepon wasn’t sure if she would ever conceive again, she leaned on her husband for strength.
“He was so supportive,” she said. “It got to the point where I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get pregnant again because the healing process took so long. But my husband knew we would be able to have a healthy sibling for Ella.”
Of course, Prepon did get pregnant again, and welcomed the couple’s second baby, a boy, last month.
“It made me so thankful for the blessing we have now,” Prepon said of her tumultuous motherhood journey. “It put into perspective what a blessing it is to have a healthy child.”