Laura Prepon Reveals Why She Had to Terminate Her Pregnancy in 2018

Laura Prepon at the "Orange is the New Black" final season world premiere
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

"I felt like a failure."

Laura Prepon is opening up about extremely personal experiences in her upcoming book, You & I As Mothers.

In a new interview with People, the 40-year-old actress shares that she had to terminate her second pregnancy in 2018, which she discusses in the book. Prepon says she got pregnant in 2018 after she and her husband, Ben Foster, welcomed their daughter, Ella, in 2017. But their sonogram at 16 weeks revealed heartbreaking news -- a condition called cystic hygroma, a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system.

"Our neonatal specialist told us the brain was not growing and the bones were not growing," she says. "We were told the pregnancy would not go to full term and that my body was at risk carrying any longer."

"Ben held me as I cried," she continues. "We had to terminate the pregnancy."

Prepon says she blamed herself, specifically, wondering if suffering from bulimia when she was 15 up until her late twenties had anything to do with it.

"To get to the second trimester and then be told this awful news, I felt like a failure," she recalls. "I felt like my body had failed and failed having another baby. The whole cycle of what's wrong with my body came back. I was scared that somehow the abuse I put my body through could have been part of the reason things went wrong. Doctors confirmed it wasn't but in those moments it’s easy to punish yourself."

Prepon says that 39-year-old Foster was supportive during the devastating experience, and she eventually got pregnant again in 2019. Although she was of course incredibly happy, she acknowledges that she also had some fear.

"I couldn't fathom going through it again," she explains.  "When the news began to sink in, we realized we're going to go on this journey again and bring our daughter a sibling."

Prepon and Foster welcomed their second child, a healthy baby boy, last month.

"It made me so thankful for the blessing we have now," she says, referring to their newborn son. "It put into perspective what a blessing it is to have a healthy child."

ET spoke to Prepon back in 2015, when she shared that her favorite piece of advice is actually from her 18-year-old self. Watch the video below for more: