I know how you feel- actually i'm surprised by how similarly spaced our nurslings are. My dd Krimzin was born 3-12-05, and my first born dd Saffire 1-13-02 nursed right on through the pregnancy, labor and first four months (and counting) of her sister's new life.
The difference with me is that i was WAY more pushy with my dd than you have been- while i would have liked to have been as patient, loving, and firm about CLW as you have been, the pain of nursing during my pregnancy really pursuaded me to limit her nursings and gradually cut sessions out- she would totally still be an all the time public nurser at 3&1/2 (looking more like 4 with her very long legs) if i had been ok with it, but at the begining of my pregnancy, she was hitting 2&1/2, therefore getting more clingy and insecure suddenly, and wanting to nurse more often, and for milk and not only was it as painful as thrush to my poor nipples, but also making me resentful of her, and making me more tired during that already sleepy first two trimesters.
i couldn't escape that feeling no matter how much i tried to focus on being compassionate towards her, so i took that as a cue that we needed to cut out some nursings (although it had been gradually happening for the last year) and decided not to nurse on demand anymore than 3x pre- determined times per day at home- am upon waking, naptime, and bedtime. During these times she knew she could have it, knew to look forward to it, and depending upon how much pain i was in, as long as she wanted depending if i could bear it.
To make a long story short, she did want to increase after that bb was born, but i wouldn't always allow it, so your question about aren't they going to stop after a few weeks after the bb is born is so subjective don't you think? Mine wouldn't stop without some sort of urging on my part. If someone gave you that impression, i would really wonder what they had based that on- in that first month, my oldest increased nursings and regressed in behaviour, and while we had read that may happen, it was still shocking to see. I cut out the upon waking nursing with Saffire during that time since i was healing and dh was around to distract her with breakfast and entertainment-usually in front of a DVD (great i thought as i layed in bed with my newborn).
In the second to third months, i slowly took out the nap time nursing- and am still working on getting it tear free. One day she said to me "Mama, let's nurse and take a nap, and it will be the last time." I took that as a sign to remove that session, but like our nursing relasionship has been without absolutes, it has taken 2 months and counting for her to fully forget about it. Today she asked for it after not having it at naptime for about a week, and i used story books, songs, cuddles as distractions.
i didn't mean for this to sound like advice on how to wean her-i feel for you, that's all, and i though hearing someone else's story might be encouraging. I belive that the work you are doing is so very important in educating others- be bold, tell people that the average age of weaning worldwide is between 4 and 7, so actually she's below the average- just a baby really ;-).
I figure it's a lot of natural selection/progression going on i what i am feeling- that although i am for CLW, and know the safety of TN, somewhere in my subconscious i feel a need to protect my infant and also some self presevation, and if i cut back on my 3yr old's nursing sessions because i am having that sort of instictual feelings, that ultimately, she's not going to suffer, we've had a great nursing career together creating a strong relationship hopefully to last a lifetime, and perhaps we both needed some incentive like, pain, a new bb, awkward social moments, to urge us both into the next phase of our relationship.
I steer clear of doctors in general, so i haven't had to put up with the ignorance you came across, and i would have totally nursed mine in the McD's - seems like the perfect spot and situation!
hope this helps -