Former Olympic skier Bode Miller appeared on the TODAY show Tuesday morning to discuss his and wife Morgan Miller's newborn son, who they welcomed just months after losing their daughter Emeline in an accidental drowning incident.
“It took us three weeks," he revealed. "If you go in a hospital, you can't leave the hospital [without a name] but at home birth, you can do whatever you want so all the kids were going to school and everyone was like, what's his name? ... We just call him baby brother and everyone thought we were just crazy. Once we got to know him, it was clear."
He also revealed that the family took inspiration from Denver Broncos player Von Miller, but that Morgan, a professional beach volleyball player, "isn't nuts" about Rek being a part of Easton's name. "She's nuts about it not being his name," Miller joked, "but we have a good compromise system."
Miller said the family is still grieving the loss of Emmy, who would have turned 2 earlier this month, but that baby Easton helps ease their pain a bit.
"If there's one thing that can help to heal and fill that spot in your heart, it's a baby. And he's a special one," he said. "Besides the lack of sleep, it's been a really nice process to go through."
He said being busy with the kids and promoting his and Morgan's cause to raise awareness for accidental drowning has helped the days go by.
"There's a blessing to being so busy in a way. Your days go by really slow because there's just a lot of stuff, and the kids and that kind of emotional strain is still there, but then the months fly by. I think any parent can relate to that," he said.
He continued, "It's unbelievable it's been six months since we lost Emmy and then at the same time, seven weeks already for Easton. We see the path forward a little bit, it's just kind of keeping going and trying to stay positive. It's not easy. I don't think it gets that much easier."
Miller, who shares Easton and 3-year-old son Nash with Morgan, is also dad to 5-year-old son Samuel and 10-year-old daughter Neesyn from previous relationships, says the kids "talk about [Emmy] all the time which I think is really good but obviously hard too. But we have to, she's everywhere in our house. You notice it. You feel the loss, but she's still a part of our family."
Emmy drowned in June in a swimming pool at the Millers' neighbor's house in Coto de Caza, California, where paramedics attempted CPR at the scene before transporting her to a nearby hospital where she passed away.
"We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday," the couple wrote at the time. "Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time."
On the TODAY show Tuesday, Miller discussed his and Morgan's Turtle Ridge Foundation, which supports youth sports programs and offers athletic opportunities for disabled people, as well as their effort to bring awareness to accidental drowning, which he says is the number one killer in children.
"We wanted to try to affect change," he said after Guthrie pointed out statistics in accidental drowning had been better this summer. "We definitely noticed in our area just the awareness. People were paying attention to it more."
"No one wants to be negligent. I don't think we were," he said, explaining that "it's more about directing some energy into areas that can affect change."