Six months after the tragic drowning death of his 19-month-old daughter Emmy, Olympic skier Bode Miller announced the joyful arrival of his new son, Easton Vaughn Rek Miller.
The father of five sat down with Today show host Savannah Guthrie Tuesday morning to discuss the blessing little Easton, now 7 weeks old, has been to his family in the wake of their devastating loss.
First, Miller shared that it took nearly a month for he and his wife, professional volleyball player Morgan Beck Miller, to name their son.
“We just called him ‘baby brother’ and everyone thought we were just crazy,” he said. “It took us three weeks, but once you got to know him it was really clear.”
“We see the path forward…It’s not easy. I don’t think it gets that much easier.”
Watch @MillerBode’s full interview with @savannahguthrie about the unimaginable loss of his and @MorganEBeck’s 9-month-old daughter, the addition of a new baby boy to the family and more. pic.twitter.com/ztpXj8AKrY
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 27, 2018
Easton, whose first name is a nod to his father’s hometown in New Hampshire, was born on Oct. 5, weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces. Miller explained that since it was a home birth, he and his wife weren’t immediately required to provide a name for documentation, so they waited and savored the naming process.
The safe arrival of baby Easton was a welcome ray of light amid a season of unimaginable grief. Four months before his birth, the Millers’ daughter Emmy died after falling into a neighbor’s swimming pool.
In an Instagram post shared one month after the accident, Morgan Beck Miller urgently warned parents of the “silent killer” that took her precious daughter’s life.
“It takes SECONDS,” she wrote.
Speaking to Bode Miller Tuesday, Savannah Guthrie noted that the child drowning rates for this past summer experienced a decrease. She asked the professional athlete whether he thinks his and his wife’s activism in spreading awareness about childhood drowning may have contributed to the statistics.
“I think there was some catharsis to it as well, but we wanted to try to effect change,” he said.
Miller noted that while, realistically, “statistics probably won’t really reflect the right stuff for years because that’s the way statistics work, but we definitely noticed, in our area, just the awareness.”
“People were paying attention to it more,” he said.
Miller added that while his family is still coming to terms with the loss of their baby girl, a new baby in the home has definitely provided much-needed joy.
“If there’s one thing that can kind of help to heal and fill that spot in your heart, it’s a baby, and he’s a special one,” Miller said. “Besides the lack of sleep, it’s been a really nice process to be able to go through.”
“There’s a blessing to being so busy,” he added. “We see the path forward a little bit. It’s just kind of, keep it going and trying to stay positive, but it’s not easy. I don’t think it gets that much easier.”