In my experience, the first c-section was harder for the first few days, but my second took longer to recover from in general. With my first, I had to max out my morphine pump just to get up to pee, with my second, I was walking halls with minimal pain as long as I kept up with my meds.
There are other factors, of course. My first was an emergency under general anesthesia, while my second was planned and I actually had to get up and walk to NICU in order to see my son. As for recovery, I had a lot of help with my first and only a week's worth of help with my second before I was on my own (also more things that HAVE to get done around the house).
Like most others, my second was actually easier, even though I went into labor before the second (scheduled) c-section and had been laboring for about 18 hours before the surgery.
My first was also a scheduled c-section, but I think there's something about knowing what to expect the second time around that makes the second easier somehow. Or maybe it's because you have your first LO waiting for you at home. In fact, I went home two days early after the second because I was doing so well and was only on ibuprofen, and because I couldn't wait to get home to first DS.
A little advice though, if you remember during your second c-section, ask the doctor what he/she thinks about you having a third. The doctor can tell you then whether you're likely good to have a third (c-section) or whether you shouldn't because of scar tissue, thickness of your uterine scar, etc. Whether you intend to have a third or not, it's helpful to at least know. I remember asking and the doctor told me my first scar had healed very nicely and that I could easily have a third c-section. Even though we didn't intend on getting pregnant again, we did (while on the pill) and will be having our third c-section in August.
Jessydb52:First of why are you getting a C section? Unless you are really unable to have the child naturally, then there is no reason why you should be getting one.
She's already had one. People choose repeat c-sections over VBACs for lots of reasons (I did) and sometimes do not have the option to VBAC at all. I'm not sure it's appropriate to second-guess the OP's reasons for having an RCS unless she asks. It's normal to have anxiety about an RCS even if you choose one.
To answer the question, my second recovery might have been *slightly* harder than my first, but that was because I was just taking ibuprofen/tylenol for pain relief, as I'd discovered after my first c/s that I'm allergic to Percoset. I think I also pushed myself harder after my RCS than I did after my first; I left the hospital a lot sooner and should probably have given myself more time in the first week to recover. But I definitely don't feel like it was worse otherwise, and I think most people have easier recoveries the second time around; it can just be harder to take it easy if you already have a LO at home.
I've always heard it was harder, but most people associated that with also having a toddler/preschooler at home. So you don't really rest and recover.
However, I just got off of the phone with a client who said her second was so much easier than the first.
I'll say I'm more nervous this time. With my first I had a pretty good recovery and I'm worried this time won't be as easy. I swear, ignorance is bliss!