Bode Miller has opened up about the six month anniversary of his toddler daughter’s drowning death which coincided with the arrival of his new son, a baby boy called Easton.
Miller’s one-year-old daughter Emmy drowned in their neighbor’s swimming pool in June. His wife, Morgan Beck, was pregnant with their fourth child at the time.
On October 5th, she gave birth. The baby weighed 9lbs and 9oz and was nameless for three weeks until his parents finally came to a decision.
On Tuesday, Olympic star Miller, 41, revealed the name – Easton Vaughn Rek Miller – and spoke openly about how the joy his birth has brought to the family has helped he and his wife cope with the agonizing grief of losing Emmy.
He told Today: ‘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 so it’s been, besides the lack of sleep, it’s been a really nice process to be able to go through.
Bode Miller (left with his daughter Emmeline who died in June) revealed on Tuesday how the recent birth of his son, Easton Vaughn Rek Miller, on October 5th (right), had helped his family heal
Miller, 41, said on Tuesday that Easton’s arrival helped ‘fill that spot in your heart’ and had brought joy back to the family since Emmy’s death
‘There is a blessing to being so busy in a way. Your days go by really slow because they’re just, a lot of stuff and the kids and that kind of emotional strain is still there but then the months just fly by.
‘I think any parent can relate to that.
‘It’s just unbelievable, it’s been six months since we lost Emmy and at the same time seven weeks already for Easton and it’s, we see the path forward a little bit, it’s just keeping going and trying to stay positive.
‘It’s not easy, I don’t think it gets that much easier,’ he said, adding that his other children still talk about their late sister ‘all the time’.
Miller and Beck have one other son together, a three-year-old called Nash.
They also have custody of his five-year-old son Sam who was born in 2013 and whose mother is Miller’s ex-girlfriend Anna McKenna.
The skier also has a 10-year-old daughter, Neesyn, with Chanel Johnson, another former girlfriend.
Sam and Nash live with him and Beck in the Coto de Caza home where Emmy lived.
New joy: Miller said Easton, who was named after the New Hampshire town he grew up in, was a ‘special baby’
Miller’s wife Morgan Beck was five months pregnant with Easton when Emmy died in June. They are pictured together, left, days before the toddler drowned
Beck shared this heartbreaking photograph on Instagram earlier this year when Emmy died. She has since told how she did not know how she would bring another baby into the world while mourning her daughter
Miller and Beck have been open about Emmy’s death in an effort to educate other parents about the dangers of drowning
‘The kids talk about her all the time which I think is really good but obviously hard too, I mean we have to.
‘She is everywhere in our house, you notice it. You feel the loss but she’s still a part of our family,’ he said.
Easton was born at home and was nameless for three weeks, his father revealed.
‘We got all kinds of criticism for it but it’s just kind of the way.
‘If you go in the hospital, you can’t leave [without a name] but home birth you can do whatever you want to so all the kids were going to school and everyone’s like, “what’s his name?” and we were like, “we don’t really have one we just call him baby brother.”
‘It just kind of took us three weeks but I think once we got to know him it was really clear,’ he said.
He is named after the town of Easton in New Hampshire where Miller grew up.
His mother is not a fan of his two middle names, Rek, but allowed Miller to ‘push it through’, he said.
Beck shared this photograph of an ultrasound of Easton earlier this year and said she thought it showed a ‘guardian angel’ – Emmy – in the frame
She also shared this photograph of Easton after his birth in October but at the time he had no name
Since their daughter’s death, Miller and Beck have campaigned avidly to increase awareness of water safety.
One of the things he is most eager to boost is the amount of information given to parents by pediatricians about how quickly young children can drown.
‘We wanted to try to affect change, all statistics won’t probably reflect the right stuff for years but we definitely noticed just the awareness.
‘My call to action was always for people to address it with their pediatricians, that was the missing link.
‘I’d never heard about it from a pediatrician and I’d gone to so many…It was a little bit ridiculous that the number one thing had never been brought up.
‘Just bring it up,’ he said.
Beck previously said she thought Emmy was watching over Easton like a guardian angel.
When she shared photographs from his birth in October, she included one of an ultrasound which she said showed Emmy’s presence.