Don - So that's what I'm doing, looking for more air. I thought I was having seizures. I do this funny mouth and chest pumping thing which does move the air around, but I doubt it does much more than occupy my oxygen starved brain.
Bob is correct...don't do this alone, certainly not when you first start. The sparklies are a very important signal of an oncoming nap. If you're grappling your opponent will let go and allow you to revive. If you are in the pool your survival will depend on an alert life guard or swim buddy. I only see stars toward the end of my last few laps when I am closing in on a PR.
Don't use your arms. The forward movement even with the most carefully hydrodynamic breast stroke recovery will create way more drag than the thrust you'll get from the stroke. So, stiff body, legs extended and fin from the hips. Arms tight to the sides and pressed against your thighs fingers extended. An alternative is to extend your arms out in front of you to lengthen your boat...I find this more difficult but I have tight shoulders.
Way to step up Veronica. Tough gig. You may find that in addition to the lung searing effect that you will have some burning thighs too.