I was happy to recover much quicker from my second c-section than I had from my first. My first was a pretty normal recovery, but took at least a month to feel back to normal. With my second I felt pretty much normal after 2 weeks.
I was allowed to get out of bed to walk to the bathroom about 12 hours after the surgery. I had remembered that the first time I got up after having Jason I'd almost passed out and could barely walk, so that is what I'd expected to happen again. I was happily surprised when I was able to stand up and walk to the bathroom without even having to be hunched over very much. I was still a bit light-headed and slow, but not as bad as I thought it would be.
I took my medicine regularly to keep on top of the pain, so I didn't feel the afterpains as much as I had after Jacob was born. I remember after I had Jacob the afterpains were awful.
The next 2 days in the hospital I spent most of my time in bed resting. DH stayed with me the whole time, except for going home a few times to change and shower and get good food. I took a few walks around the maternity ward, and it got easier each time. Although I hate hospital food (especially the horrible liquid diet they have you on the first day after surgery, yuck!) it was nice to be waited on while I recovered. The baby stayed with me the whole time, except for an hour each night while they took him for monitoring and stuff.
I did not get much sleep at the hospital though. Although Nathan slept great during that time, I still had doctors and nurses coming in at all hours. So it was a relief to go home. I was scared of having 3 children to handle on my own, but glad to be going to a more comfortable environment.
DH took a few days off work to help out while we got settled into things. I was still exhausted from the whole ordeal, but feeling better each day. It was nice to be able to walk around and do most things for myself. I couldn't lay on my side for a few weeks though, which made night time hard. Normally I would just roll over to feed my baby at night, but those first few weeks it hurt to lay like that so I would have to actually sit up and hold the baby, which was hard when I was so tired.
Thankfully, Nathan was a good sleeper the first few months, he would only wake 1-2 times a night, so I was able to recover from the first hard nights at home where he didn't sleep so well.
Like I said, by around 2 weeks postpartum I felt almost normal again. I no longer needed my pain meds (which I could have stopped taking when I got home from the hospital, the pain really wasn't too bad, but I took them that long so that I would feel my best to take care of 3 kids) and I could finally start nursing on my side so we were getting more sleep. Each day got physically easier and after 2 weeks I was itching to do more, but still made myself take it easy because I knew I could injure myself if I did too much too soon, even if I felt ok.
I think that part of the reason this recovery was so much easier was mental. I had not experienced the c-section so my mind didn't really comprehend the need to feel in pain or like my body had anything to recover from. A kind of placebo effect, like when people are given a medicine and don't know it's a placebo they can still get better because their mind believes it enough that the body heals itself.
Unfortunately, just as each day I felt better physically, each day my emotional state was getting worse.