By Alana Mazzoni

While Instagram is often a highlight reel of the most fabulous parts of celebrities’ lives, Married At First Sight star Melissa Rawson has always kept it very real when sharing the challenges of motherhood.

Melissa and her fiancé Bryce Ruthven, who met on the 2021 season of MAFS, welcomed their twin sons Levi and Tate in October, 10 weeks before their due date.

The 33-year-old has been refreshingly candid about the struggles of parenting premature newborns, posting a brave and heart-breaking video to her Instagram account in early January 2022, Melissa admitted “I’m putting my hand up to say I am struggling and that parenthood is tough. Sleep deprivation is torture. But having babies you love with all your heart, a good partner/people in your close circle, a GP to discuss a plan and great followers and online support, I know what I’m feeling is only temporary.”

Melissa added the important tags @pandanational and @beyondblueofficial.

Melissa posted to her Instagram that she was struggling.

In late January, alongside a photo of her feeding Levi and Tate, who spent weeks in NICU, Melissa wrote: “There’s never been a time in your life where you feel like an absolute champion and a total failure at the same time.

“The sleepless nights turn into sleepless days. You become forgetful, distant… and wonder to yourself, ‘when will this get easier?’”

Melissa said her first coffee in the morning after a sleepless night “feels like the only friend that can help get you through the day.”

“Home cooked meals are minimal or non existent. Takeaway becomes the only option as you stare down the barrel of another sleepless night ahead,” she continued.

“As the sun begins to set, you realise that you haven’t stepped outside your house in days. But you don’t feel bad, you feel safe hiding behind those four walls.

“The dirty clothes basket is overflowing and those that are clean become obstacles around the house.”

The former reality star admitted that what was once her tidy Melbourne home is now “littered with bottles, bibs and nappies”, saying she avoids inviting friends over.

“When colic sets in, you’re matching tears of pain with your baby, wishing you could do anything to relieve theirs. And feeling so unbelievably guilty as you begin to unintentionally pay less attention to their sibling or your partner,” she said. “But even through all of this – you manage to find something within yourself to power through each day.”

Melissa shared the brave video in the hope that it may help other mums.

“You find the strength when you look into your baby’s eyes. That beautiful little smile (even if it is wind). Those fleeting moments of koala cuddles. You remember that you have never loved anything quite like your baby.”

Melissa said her raw post was dedicated to “every Mummy/Daddy/parent out there struggling”.

The mother-of-two received an outpouring of support, with her MAFS co-star and the twins’ godfather Jason Engler commenting: “You’re doing amazing Liss ❤️❤️”

The MAFS star says Bryce is a supportive partner.

Survivor star Felicity Egginton also wrote words of encouragement: “You guys are doing amazing. So proud of you.”

Earlier this month, Melissa updated fans about the reality of caring for newborns after suffering through “catastrophic” nights of interrupted sleep.

“The sleep deprivation is just next level,” she said in a video, visibly emotional.

“You are told by everyone that, ‘enjoy your sleep now, you’re not going to get any sleep when the baby arrives ‘… and yes, that’s very true, and I’m aware of that.”

If you or someone you know if suffering from post-natal depression or ‘baby blues’, reach out to your GP and/or Panda National and Beyond Blue.

This article appears on Now To Love and is reproduced with permission.