Actor Laura Prepon’s opens up about her second pregnancy in her latest book, billed as part-memoir, part-guidebook, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood.
The 40-year-old actress, known for her role as Alex Vause in Orange Is the New Black and Donna from That ’70s Show, was completely happy to find that she was pregnant with her second baby in 2018.
However, she was told to hold off informing household or family members about the newest addition to the family until they scheduled a sonogram at 16 weeks.
Prepon immediately knew something was wrong when the sonographer looked at the screen, and the ob-gyn summoned told her it could be a condition called cystic hygroma – an abnormal development of the lymphatic vascular system during embryonic growth.
The condition was confirmed after an echocardiogram.
“Our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing and the bones were not growing,” Prepon said.
“We were told the pregnancy would not go to full term and that my body was at risk carrying any longer.”
“I burst into tears,” she added, “I couldn’t bear to listen to what was about to return out of her mouth. Ben held me tightly.”
“We had to terminate the pregnancy.”
The ordeal brought back feelings of self-loathing Prepon had been enduring for years, often masked by the bulimia she suffered from until her late 20s.
“I felt like my body had failed and failed having another baby. The whole cycle of what’s wrong with my body came back,” she said.
“I was scared that somehow the abuse I put my body through could have been part of the reason things went wrong.”
The pain of losing her second child made her worried that she would not be able to get pregnant again, and she leaned on her husband for strength.
“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,” said Prepon.