A baby recently born at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center is giving new meaning to the term "little bundle of joy.''
Melinda Star Guido came into the world 16 weeks early on Aug. 30, and weighed a total of 270 grams -- just more than half a pound. County health officials said Global Birth Registry figures show that Melinda is the third- smallest baby ever born, weighing less than a can of soda and roughly the same as two iPhones.
Her original due date was tomorrow, Dec. 15, according to the county.
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Melinda is being closely monitored at the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but she is "growing and thriving.''
"The first three or four days, I was worried if this baby was going to make it,'' said Dr. Rangasamy Ramanathan, chief of the neonatology section at County USC Medical Center. "So every day, more than once we spoke to the family and said take it minute by minute.''
Their dedication paid off. Melinda now weighs 4.12 pounds.
"She was always fighting, and all the nurses were saying that she was really feisty, she was always fighting for her life,'' said Melinda's mother, Haydee Ibarra of Granada Hills. "... She wants to stay here. She wants to live.''
Her father, Yovani Guido, added, "She's been through a lot, a lot since day one.''
County+USC Healthcare Network spokeswoman Rosa Saca said Melinda will definitely remain hospitalized through Christmas, but hospital officials were hoping she might be able to go home for the New Year's holiday.