Holding of the breath

There is this thing that I do when I am scared. I literally stop breathing for a moment to quiet myself. Now before you start sending in paramedics I only do it for a literal moment. Just a quick instant to hush all of the noise that a body can make during all of that inhaling and exhaling stuff. Sometimes my heartbeat will become really loud. Sometimes the air-conditioner will clang to life. But usually it is just a pure, quiet, silence. And in that silence I am able to tell myself things: Calm down, it will all be OK, it is out of your control…

At this point in the trying game I am running from one breath holding moment to the next. I am rendered completely incapacitated by fear and hope: twin sisters that have taken over for the butterflies and are now braiding each other’s hair inside my rib cage.

There is no in between or half way outcome. The pendulum will either swing out and stay out in a land that is unknown to me, or it will swing back in and chop up my insides and a very familiar way. This is my least favorite part of waiting. There is no bullshit conversation that you can have with yourself that will con your body into working the way you want it to. It either will. Or it won’t.

And it doesn’t stop me from doing the stupid quantifying mind fucks. I light a candle in the morning and if it is still lit by evening I declare meaning in it. I am only human, and isn’t it in our nature to want there to be a reason for everything? Thunder in the sky- the gods must be angry. Lit candle on the kitchen counter- the gods must be giving me a baby.


I can’t believe I typed that word. Pretend I didn’t. It gets in the way of my zen.

Sadly I don’t seem to be able to DO much other than hold my breath, gasp for breath, light candles, and watch marathons of Mad Men on demand. If you asked me to bet on an outcome I would not be hopeful.


  1. says

    You are in truly the worst part of the wait. It’s too early to test and get a good result that you can rely on, and yet it’s so not too early for the hope to have mostly evaporated. Keep lighting the candles and cling on somehow.

  2. says

    I’m not the hopeful type either.
    But a lot of people have prayed for me at times, and even though I personally doubt God pulls the strings that make everything work (or that he has a plan- blech), I do believe that others’ love can help get you to a safe place- so I will say a prayer for you today.
    Keep on watching that on-demand. I hear it’s a god-send.

  3. says

    as cliche as it is to say: hang in there. (can you picture the 1980’s poster with the cat hanging off the tree branch?) i hope you can feel the good vibes and held breath i am sending you from vt? one week down, less than one to go. you will make it through this.

  4. says

    if it werent so almighty HOT and HUMID…i would be sending you more fudgey cookies. i know they would help.

    sending a lot of love, and another hand to squeeze when you need it…

  5. Lisa says

    I haven’t been in your exact situation, but I think I understand what you’re going through. I think the only thing you can do is just get through it, trying to distract yourself in any way you can, knowing that this waiting can’t last forever.

    Hoping and praying (in my non-religious way) that you have the outcome you desire!

  6. says

    I’ll turn myself blue hoping right along with the rest of these women. Keep lighting those candles: they bring some focus and light during these unpredictable waits. xoxo

  7. says

    If I were there, I’d personally knock you out until Friday so you wouldn’t have to bear this week. I love you that much.

  8. says

    waiting sucks, no two ways about it. But I’m hoping for you, out here in MA, and sending you all my best thoughts and lit candles and good signs–

  9. jean says

    I know, it just sucks. The only words of wisdom I can think of come from everyone’s favorite blue fish Dory: ‘Just keep swimming!’

  10. says

    in my heart, for all that is good and selfless and loving, calliope, i light a candle in my heart for you. for your baby(ies).

    we need a little less doubt in the world, in our minds. the people that fight the most, gain the most. appreciate the most. there is no doubt, one day you will have a child one way or the other. it’s just a matter of time. so in the mean time, bless yourself. bless others. feed to the world the beauty you wish to find in it, and it will come back to you to bless you. it’s so easy for me to get down in the dumps and doubtful and poison my mind with these thoughts….so i understand your feelings.

    peace to you my dear <3k.

  11. Melissa says

    Turning blue over here, holding my breath and looking like a pretzel with my fingers, legs, toes and arms crossed for you :-)

  12. says

    I can’t even imagine how hard the wait must be. I hate it even after all this time. I know it must be infinitely worse for you. I’m just so filled with hope for you (even when I may be losing it for myself).

  13. sabrina says

    well it’s good that you are watching mad men… a great distraction! not sure if you saw the last scene of the last episode of the season, but it will piss you off. i’m holding my breath for you too!

  14. says

    Candles give a good aura and usually make people feel better, so I say keep lighting them! Even in times like these, your writing is still beautiful. I’m partial to pendulum metaphors and hopeful that you are on that ride out to the unknown place.

  15. says

    Holding my breath (for just a moment each time) with you! You’re in my prayers Cali… I’m praying for a positive outcome… HUGS!!!

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