Hi ladies, I'm jumping in here too. Thanks Lifeguard for starting this.
I had GD with my second pregnancy (DD who is 26m now). I had a great homebirth with her, and she was a very healthy 9lb baby at 40w4d born after a labor of less than 3 hours. I gained a total of 17lbs during that pregnancy (I started it overweight). My GD disappeared literally as soon as I delivered the placenta. I ate an entire bagel and drank a big old glass of milk the next day and my numbers were totally normal. That said, I believe I have poor insulin function- maybe not insulin resistance yet, since my numbers tend to be very normal, but I decided to go back on a lower-carb diet when my baby was 8mo, and I effortlessly lost 35 lbs and felt great eating that way. My mother has type II diabetes (and so did her brother and her dad). I was very stressed by the GD diagnosis and the experience of having to log everything I ate and all my blood sugar readings, but in the end I came to see it as a kind of blessing in disguise, to learn what is healthy for my body... and hopefully to protect myself in the long run from developing type II (or at least, to take control over things earlier rather than later!). I really like this website about diabetes, nothing about GD but I find it extremely informative, and very empowering with strategies for taking control of your health... http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php
During that pregnancy, I was supposed to maintain the numbers that IntrovertExtrovert says (under 90 fasting, under 130 at 1hr). I was able to do it with a very strict diet that had no grain, no sugars, very limited fruit, and obviously no sugary sweets. Dairy OTHER than liquid milk was fine. Plain yogurt has fewer carbs than are usually listed on the label (IMO), it might be worth a try for those of you who aren't tolerating milk but craving dairy.
I am now almost 23 weeks. My MWs this time aren't making me do the GTT (I don't want to) and just prescribed me a blood glucose meter. I have been spot checking and things look okay though a few slightly high numbers (mostly in the 120s but not after a very high carb meal... so thats not so great to see... they have been after I think I didn't eat enough all day and then though I ate a normal meal, seems to spike higher than I'd expect. I remember that from my previous pregnancy). My fastings have so far been ranging from 70-86 so that is great. BUT I am am a little worried about the coming weeks, since that is when I developed GD last time around (I passed a 3hr GTT easily at around 20 weeks last time).
I agree there is not a lot of good info on GDM out there. I really struggled to find info when I had it last time. Yes, it is normal for pregnant women to have slightly elevated blood glucose levels. The fetus "likes" the higher blood sugar, in order to pack on all that fat it needs. But as I understand it, true "GD" doesn't develop until around 24 weeks or later, b/c it has to do with the fully mature placenta messing with our own sugar metabolisms. (haha very scientific explanation I know). And it really should be gone as soon as placenta is delivered. Anything else suggests some underlying issues with blood sugar/insulin function.
The most hepful advice I got was from a dietician who did our diabetes education. She said that your blood glucose meter should be your guide as to what you can eat, not a meal plan. She said most women she sees with GD (and most diabetics, that was actually her bigger clientele I guess) cannot eat the number of carbs on the meal plans and stay off medication. As others have said, she emphasized that mornings are worse for most people. I opted to get most of my carbs from veggies, legumes, and fruit, because I could eat so much more of those than grain-based foods and they were so much more satisfying for me given the amounts of grain I could tolerate (like 2 tbl of cooked brown rice in an otherwise low carb meal... whats the point...)
I had to plan in eating more fats and more protein. I've gotten better at that with almost 2 years of moderately low carb eating (if you count my 13 weeks with GD and then the past 18 months of putting myself back on a low grain, low starch/sugar diet). Anyway, just saying, I have gotten used to not having pasta, rice, bread, oatmeal, potatoes, juice, etc. I have a little bit if I want to but I think of it as a treat, not a staple, or a "garnish", if that makes sense.
It is hard to eat out or go to parties. I am already a vegetarian (ovo/lacto) so blah. Sometimes nothing to eat. I would say, you are NOT going to hurt your baby if you have highish blood sugar once a week or something. Its the chronically elevated blood sugar that is bad for everyone (you and baby). So if you have a special event, just take it in stride. Try to eat plenty of fat with the carbs to at least slow the digestion! (and stuff like ice cream is better than cake or cookies... higher fat stuff is often less sugary... and you can always take the bread off of sandwiches etc, eat the dips with veggies instead of chips... or with a spoon... though it can be hard to do that sort of thing in a dignified/polite way!)
OK that is the end of my novel. Well almost.
Hugs to you all. I was really emotional about the GD when I first got my diagnosis. By the end I think I was unhealthily obsessed with it-- in retrospect I think my sense of self-worth was too wrapped up in my blood sugar readings. My goal for this pregnancy is to keep my blood sugar stable without driving myself nuts.
And I found the primal/paleo blogs helpful for recipes and food ideas (I like Girl Gone Primal in particular, LOVE LOVE LOVE her grain free granola, "nola"). Also I got really into coconut flour (weird stuff but very filling and easy to use once you get used to it- there are lots of recipes online for coconut flour stuff), and nuts (homemade almond milk, homemade nut "truffles", nut crusts, etc). And thank goodness for hummos and peanut butter or I might have actually wasted away to nothing....