Hi Kristine, I am sorry that I didn't get to read this sooner, as I guess by now that you would have made you decision. My husband I went through a similar thing in August 2001 when I was pregnant with our now 17 month old son. The "problem" they found was there was a trannucal thicking (his neck area was thicker then it is meant to be). I also came down with a virus known as CMV which is one of the biggest causes of deafness, blindness and other birth or developmental problems. We decided to have the amnio for a number of reasons one was so that we could be prepared for the possibility of having a child with problems and the other is that CMV can be treated inutero if caught early enough. We had a 99% chance of Joshua being Down Syndrome due to the size of the thicking, fortunately he isn't though we would have loved him just the same.
As for the Amnio itself, I can not remember the name of the Professor we saw but he is one of the best in NSW's and works at the Peri Natal (spelling) ultra sound place at Penrith Hospital. He explained the risks to us and explained even though it is meant to be a 1 in 200 chance of miscarriage that is a world wide scale. He also said it is hard to say if the amnio causes miscarriage or not because it unfortunately done at a high risk time of the pregnancy.
Having the Amnio was one of the most stressful things hubby and I have ever been through (well until we had our little boy but that is another story). I didn't have the local even though I am absolutely petrified of needles. The Prof said that local was probably more painful then having the needle inserted and I would have to agree. Actually having my ears pierced hurt more then having the needle inserted. For me if felt like a weird tugging sensation, it is hard to describe but I wouldn't say it was painful just uncomfortable. The interesting thing was when I had it our little boy was scrunched right up in one side, where as normally he was stretched right out, it was almost like he new and wanted to be out of the way of the needle.
Sorry if I went on. Good Luck and I have you, your hubby and your baby in my prays. All the best. If you want to e-mail me personally feel free, my address is [email protected]