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Married At First Sight star Melissa ‘Liss’ Rawson made no bones about how difficult it was for her to parent her twin boys Levi and Tate when they arrived 10 weeks early in October 2021.
“The sleep deprivation is next level”, she admitted in an emotional post in January 2022. And there’s no doubt that one baby is really tiring; twins are exhausting, and premmie babies are something else altogether as you throw in increased issues with feeding, settling and sleeping.
Liss met fiance Bryce Ruthven on season 8 of the popular reality TV show and not only did they survive the experiment, they’ve actually become one of the show’s biggest romantic success stories.
As all parents know, the lack of sleep in those early months can put a strain on the most harmonious relationships, but Liss and Bryce enlisted help to get them through.
In March, for Bryce’s birthday, the mum-of-two posted a snap of her partner with a caption saying “Thank you for being the strong, outspoken, caring and thoughtful man that you are. I love you for all that you are and all that you do for our little family.”
Now, at nearly six months old (around four months, corrected), identical-looking, non-identical twins Levi and Tate have turned a corner in the sleep stakes and Liss is keen to share what they did to make it happen.
Watch the video of the boys’ gorgeous nursery set up above…
Sharing an “appreciation post” to her Instagram in early April, the MAFS star was delighted to announce that the boys have been sleeping through the night for a month! Given that mums are over the moon is their babies sleep through at 12 weeks/three months, it’s a huge milestones for two little boys who were born 10 weeks early.
“For the last month (except one night) our nearly 6 month old twins have been sleeping through the night… at the same time! 🤯👏🏻,” gushed the happy, rested mum.
“If you’ve been following our journey, you’ll recall how challenging I’ve found being a FTM and how sleep deprivation nearly broke me…” referring to a heart-wrenching video that she shared to her fans a few weeks after her babies came home from hospital.
Liss shared a happy photo of her with Bryce and Baby Sleep Consultant Maryanne Sayers and Baby & Child Sleep Expert Steph Gouin, along with an inset photo of the twins in their bassinets, saying “I honestly could not thank these two women enough, they saved us from a really dark place.”
Thanking the pair in a lengthy post, Liss wrote: “They taught us the basics on baby sleep, helped us with our “bath, bottle, bed” night time routine and helped me to recognise “tired cues”, something I’ve always struggled with. That’s it.
“A few little tweaks of how I clothe them, room temp, tired cue observations and implementing a bed/bath time routine … and voila!”
Appreciation post ✨…@maryannesayers1 and @sleepbysteph came into our lives ♥️ …
I honestly could not thank these two women enough, they saved us from a really dark place 💙
“I didn’t want to jinx it by talking about this too soon but now I think we have it down pat,” continued the 33-year-old mum. “The twins sleep between 8-12 hours a night and Mumma no longer needs any day naps! I honestly could not thank these two women enough, they saved us from a really dark place 💙”
The day after sharing the awesome news about her sleepy bubs, Liss shared a video of the boys’ nursery (you can watch it above) and her calm and happy vibes indicate how much things have changed over the past few months.
Showing more of the positivity that the Melbourne mum is once more filled with, Liss shared a photo of her at five months pregnant alongside of the boys at five months old, saying the pregnancy snap is one of the few beautiful ones she has.
“We were in lockdown for most of our pregnancy and like so many others, we missed out on the opportunity to have professional photos, a gender reveal party, baby shower or any kind of celebration for the twins. And then to have them born premature and living in the hospital for two months was almost unbearable. But at the end of the day, we didn’t need any of those life events. We just needed these two beautiful little boys in our lives to make our hearts whole 💙”
✨5 months in vs 5 months out ♥️
This is one of the only beautiful pregnancy photos I have and I absolutely love it (thanks @bryceruthven for capturing 💋)
In late January, alongside a photo of her feeding Levi and Tate, who spent weeks in NICU, Liss 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?’”
Liss admitted sadly that 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.”
“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 ”
And now Tate and Levi are sleeping through the night, things continue to look up for the parents as they have their wedding planning to come – and we foresee a couple of darling page boys in attendance!
The smiles have begun! 💙🖤